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Thursday, 16 February 2017

TIL: The Real Plural of "Octopus"

Today I learnt that "octopi" is actually technically incorrect as the plural form of "octopus". Following its Greek roots, the correct plural form would be "octopodes". To quote Wiktionary:
The plural octopi is hypercorrect, coming from the mistaken notion that the -us in octopūs is a Latin second declension ending. The word is actually treated as a third declension noun in Latin. The plural octopodes follows the Ancient Greek plural, ὀκτώποδες(oktṓpodes).
(https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/octopus#English)
The same applies to "platypus": the plural of "platypus" is either "platypuses" or "platypodes".

However, standard English dictates that the plurals of "octopus" and "platypus" are "octopuses" and "platypuses" respectively.

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