Shrimp(s) and prawns

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Thu Mar 12 18:47:02 UTC 2009

From:    Dave Wilton <dave at WILTON.NET>


> I would call "octopi" acceptable since so many people use it, but it's an
> etymologically unsound hypercorrection. "Octopus" is Greek and we shouldn't
> be slapping a Latin inflection on a Greek word after it has been borrowed
> into English.

Some of us use 'octopi' as the plural specifically to annoy pedants.

I would say :-) but i'm actually serious.

(Similarly a lower-cased first-person singular pronoun--but that's a
different issue.)

I take it further, too--i have family friends by the last name Dutkus,
and i call them collectively 'the Dutki' (which is actually handy,
'cause you don't have to worry about whether you're going on a visit to
the Dutkuses, the Dutkusses, the Dutkus's, or so on). Not for circus or
status, though--though i *may* have a zero-plural for status. Not sure
on that last one, though.

Of course, i'm also enamored with 'corpora' from 'corpus', so i'm
considered switching those plurals to 'octopora' and 'Dutkora'.

I would say :-) but i'm *almost* serious with that last bit.

Maybe :-?


David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

The American Dialect Society -

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