04 January 2011

The plural of octopus

One of the first things I learned as an undergraduate research student was the plural of “octopus.” (Thanks, Jennifer!)

It’s actually fairly contentious. I know I’ve explained it on other people’s blogs, but can’t remember where. And apparently, I haven’t done so on this blog. Fortunately, an editor at Mirriam-Webster has saved me a lot of typing:

And the moral of the story is: If you’re going to bastardize, bastardize in your own language.

Hat tip to Miriam Goldstein.

1 comment:

Steve Will said...

Thanks for this! I like words, and like learning that something I thought I knew about them was wrong -- or maybe right -- but in any case more complicated than I suspected.