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Re: Mind your manus (was Re: bcf vs. badd)



In a message dated 95-12-02 16:10:44 EST, ornstn@inforamp.net (Ronald
Orenstein) writes:

>This is similar to the plural of words ending in "pus" where this means
>"foot" such as octopus or platypus.  the plural of "pus" in latin is not
>"pi" but "podes", so the plural of octopus ought to be "octopodes".
>"Octopi" is just plain wrong.  But, as Fowler points out in "Modern English
>Usage", "octopodes" is just too pedantic so "octopuses" is the preferred
>plural.
>
>Of course there is at least one perfectly good English word that does use
>the "podes" plural - "antipodes", so called because they are the part of the
>world opposite your feet.

Lots of words derived from Latin and Greek have peculiar plurals that aren't
used in English. The plural of _Triceratops_ would be _Triceratopes_, for
example, but nobody uses it. I wouldn't find the use of such plurals
pedantic; rather, I think adding the simple "s" and "es" of common English to
be boring.

Antipodes, yes; but who uses the singular "antipus" (for an Australian?)?

Mind your manus?? <Chuckle>