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  #1  
Old 04-28-2009, 02:12 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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Octopodes and... platypodes?

I know from the Dope that an octopus and another octopus are called octopodes.

This TV Tropes page seems to be saying that the plural of platypus is platypodes.

Is this true? They're joking, right? I mean, people have been arguing about octopodes/octopi/octopusses since forever, but I wasn't aware of a similar debate for, uh, platywhatsists.
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2009, 02:14 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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From Wiki:

Quote:
There is no universally agreed upon plural of "platypus" in the English language. Scientists generally use "platypuses" or simply "platypus". Colloquially, "platypi" is also used for the plural, although this is pseudo-Latin;[3] the Greek plural would be "platypodes"

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus
Personally I would opt for the plural of platypus to be "platypus" (such as the plural of moose is "moose"). The others cause a verbal stumble in my mind.

ETA: Always was curious why the plural of goose is "geese" but the plural of moose is "moose". Yeah "meese" sounds funny but who knows...if we grew up with it then it might seem normal.

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 04-28-2009 at 02:18 PM..
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2009, 02:21 PM
Giles Giles is offline
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I just checked in two Australian dictionaries, and both prefer "platypuses" as the plural.

What would you use as the plural of the English word "omnibus"? (Which is a Latin word, but doesn't have a Latin plural, because it's already plural in Latin).
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  #4  
Old 04-28-2009, 02:29 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
This TV Tropes page seems to be saying that the plural of platypus is platypodes.
It would be if we spoke Greek. Since we do not, and that the word "platypus" has been adopted into English, there is no reason not to use a regular English plural form, that is, "platypuses."

Quote:
I mean, people have been arguing about octopodes/octopi/octopusses since forever, but I wasn't aware of a similar debate for, uh, platywhatsists.
Similarly I would regard "octopuses" to be the best option as a plural in English. "Octopi" and "platypi" are bogus Latin, and there is no good justification to use them. (However, "octopi" has been used so often that it has been accepted even by some dictionaries.) While "octopodes" is a correct Latin plural, the more typical form in technical scientific publications is the anglicized form, octopods.
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  #5  
Old 04-28-2009, 02:46 PM
Kimmy_Gibbler Kimmy_Gibbler is offline
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Originally Posted by Giles View Post
What would you use as the plural of the English word "omnibus"? (Which is a Latin word, but doesn't have a Latin plural, because it's already plural in Latin).
Buses.
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2009, 03:00 PM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
ETA: Always was curious why the plural of goose is "geese" but the plural of moose is "moose". Yeah "meese" sounds funny but who knows...if we grew up with it then it might seem normal.
Because "goose" and "geese" are both forms inherited from Old English and in turn from proto-Indo-European, and have a long history in the language that has allowed them to grow apart in form. "Moose," on the other hand, is a more recend borrowing from Abenaki or Narragansett. New words tend to get regular plurals.
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:04 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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People who pedantically insist on Greek plurals of animal names borrowed into English should be stampeded by rhinocerotodes. That said, eschew faux-Latin like "platypi" -- form the plurals according to the normal English forms.

Exception: some animals in Bovidae and some birds in Galliformes already have "irregular" English plurals -- coinages where those standard usages are the root element form their plurals accordingly. The plural of fowl is fowl, even if they are newly discovered New Guinea treefowl; same thing for sheep. More than one muskox are muskoxen, from ox>oxen. And so on.
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2009, 03:05 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drake
"Moose," on the other hand, is a more recend borrowing from Abenaki or Narragansett. New words tend to get regular plurals.
But "moose" doesn't in fact have the regular plural "mooses"; rather, its plural form is identical to its singular. Just as in the case of the word "sheep", which is an old Germanic word and not a recent borrowing.

Not arguing with your general point that recent loanwords are more likely to be given regular plural forms, just noting that it doesn't actually apply to "moose".
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  #9  
Old 04-28-2009, 03:23 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
People who pedantically insist on Greek plurals of animal names borrowed into English should be stampeded by rhinocerotodes.
To nitpick, rhinocerotes.

From the excellent Staff Report on Latin plurals by bibliophage:


Quote:
Note that rhinoceros is a pachyderm of a different color. Both words are ultimately from Greek, and the last syllable is pronounced the same in English, but rhinoceri is not proper Latin (nor Greek). That form has found its way into some English dictionaries, but I would advise against messing with rhinoceri. In Latin rhinoceros is a third declension noun with the plural rhinocerotes. Rarely you see the plural form rhinocerontes in English, but that is properly the plural of a variant Latin singular form, rhinoceron. You'll be laughed straight out of the zoo if you try to use either one in English. Stick to rhinoceroses. Or better yet, rhinos (certainly not rhinoi).
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  #10  
Old 04-28-2009, 03:48 PM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
But "moose" doesn't in fact have the regular plural "mooses"; rather, its plural form is identical to its singular. Just as in the case of the word "sheep", which is an old Germanic word and not a recent borrowing.

Not arguing with your general point that recent loanwords are more likely to be given regular plural forms, just noting that it doesn't actually apply to "moose".
True, and I didn't even notice. I'll assume it's by analogy: a lot of hoofed herbivores have the same singular and plural (antelope, deer, elk, sheep), though some of them also take -s. I wonder which are inherited forms and which by analogy? I'll look it up this afternoon if I get some time.
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  #11  
Old 04-28-2009, 05:01 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Well, I like "platypodes". It has a nice ring to it, and is grratifyingly weird.


And if you want to get pedantic about it, "platypus" shouldn't even be "platypus" -- the name had already been used for a class of beetles, and by the rules of taxonomic precedence, the Australian Doofenschmirtz-hunting creature ought to be "Ornithorhynchus". But "platypus" fits it better, IMHO. I still say "brontonsaurus", too

http://geowords.com/histbookpdf/e05.pdf
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  #12  
Old 04-28-2009, 06:36 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Well, I like "platypodes". It has a nice ring to it, and is grratifyingly weird.


And if you want to get pedantic about it, "platypus" shouldn't even be "platypus" -- the name had already been used for a class of beetles, and by the rules of taxonomic precedence, the Australian Doofenschmirtz-hunting creature ought to be "Ornithorhynchus". But "platypus" fits it better, IMHO. I still say "brontonsaurus", too

http://geowords.com/histbookpdf/e05.pdf
Well, Eohippus made it back out of the graveyard of synonymy; perhaps Brontosaurus will too.
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  #13  
Old 04-28-2009, 06:54 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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has it been decided then?

one goose, two geese.
one moose, two meese.
one shoop, two sheep.

we could start a trend.
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  #14  
Old 04-28-2009, 07:24 PM
Darwin's Finch Darwin's Finch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
And if you want to get pedantic about it, "platypus" shouldn't even be "platypus" -- the name had already been used for a class of beetles, and by the rules of taxonomic precedence, the Australian Doofenschmirtz-hunting creature ought to be "Ornithorhynchus".
Rules of taxonomic priority don't apply to common names. The common name for the critter is "platypus", the genus is Ornithorhynchus.
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  #15  
Old 04-28-2009, 09:08 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Quote:
Rules of taxonomic priority don't apply to common names. The common name for the critter is "platypus", the genus is Ornithorhynchus.
Tell that to the people who keep te;lling me it's a Brontosaurus.


I still like my Trachodonts, too.
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  #16  
Old 04-28-2009, 09:08 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin's Finch View Post
Rules of taxonomic priority don't apply to common names. The common name for the critter is "platypus", the genus is Ornithorhynchus.
By the same reasoning, I think the common name of Apatosaurus by rights should be brontosaurus.
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2009, 09:19 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quote:
one goose, two geese.
one moose, two meese.
one shoop, two sheep.
One mongoose, two polygoose.

And regardless of what anyone thinks of it officially, common names aren't decided in any official capacity, so the common name of Apatosaurus is indeed "Brontosaurus" (amusingly, Firefox spellchecker recognizes the latter, but not the former).
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  #18  
Old 04-28-2009, 09:28 PM
Darwin's Finch Darwin's Finch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
By the same reasoning, I think the common name of Apatosaurus by rights should be brontosaurus.
I quite agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
I still like my Trachodonts, too.
I rather liked the name "Laelaps", but wouldn't you know, that name belonged to a stupid mite....
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  #19  
Old 04-29-2009, 09:10 AM
kapntoad kapntoad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocking chair View Post
one shoop, two sheep.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
One mongoose, two polygoose.
Those are wonderful. (Heh, twoderful.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go listen to the theme song for this thread.

"One Hippopotami" by Allan Sherman
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  #20  
Old 04-29-2009, 11:48 AM
furryman furryman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Well, I like "platypodes". It has a nice ring to it, and is grratifyingly weird.


And if you want to get pedantic about it, "platypus" shouldn't even be "platypus" -- the name had already been used for a class of beetles, and by the rules of taxonomic precedence, the Australian Doofenschmirtz-hunting creature ought to be "Ornithorhynchus". But "platypus" fits it better, IMHO. I still say "brontonsaurus", too

http://geowords.com/histbookpdf/e05.pdf
Platapeople?
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  #21  
Old 04-29-2009, 11:58 AM
sqweels sqweels is offline
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I prefer "platypussies".
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  #22  
Old 04-29-2009, 01:02 PM
palindromemordnilap palindromemordnilap is offline
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Originally Posted by sqweels View Post
I prefer "platypussies".
Platypussy would make a great James Bond villain.

Last edited by palindromemordnilap; 04-29-2009 at 01:02 PM..
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  #23  
Old 04-29-2009, 01:08 PM
sqweels sqweels is offline
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Originally Posted by palindromemordnilap View Post
Platypussy would make a great James Bond villain.
"Down Under", of course.
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  #24  
Old 04-29-2009, 02:34 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
While "octopodes" is a correct Latin plural…
No it isn't. It's a correct Greek plural.
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  #25  
Old 04-30-2009, 12:47 PM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocking chair View Post
has it been decided then?

one goose, two geese.
one moose, two meese.
one shoop, two sheep.

we could start a trend.
Now I got The Shoop Shoop Song stuck in my head. Thanks a lot.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:05 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
No it isn't. It's a correct Greek plural.
While it is derived from the Greek, it is also the correct Latin plural.

From the Staff Report I linked to above:


Quote:
Octopus is another of these third declension nouns in Latin, borrowed from Greek. The Latin plural is octopodes,
If you contend that "octopodes" is incorrect in Latin, what is the correct plural?
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  #27  
Old 04-30-2009, 01:22 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
While it is derived from the Greek, it is also the correct Latin plural.

From the Staff Report I linked to above:




If you contend that "octopodes" is incorrect in Latin, what is the correct plural?
He was, I think, making the point that it is not a Latin but a Greek word. However, that's ignoring the rule, older than the English language, that says that the proper plural of a Latin word borrowed from Greek is its Greek plural.
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  #28  
Old 04-30-2009, 01:27 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
He was, I think, making the point that it is not a Latin but a Greek word.
However, what he said was was that it was not a correct Latin plural, which is incorrect.

Live by the nitpick, die by the nitpick.
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  #29  
Old 04-30-2009, 02:04 PM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is online now
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And I have it on the very highest authority (the late, great Dr. John Ostrom himself) that the large skeleton in the dinosaur hall of Yale's Peabody Museum is named "Emily." He told that to my daughters once when we ran into him at his job. One of nature's true gentlemen.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:06 AM
The Seventh Deadly Finn The Seventh Deadly Finn is offline
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And I have it on the very highest authority (the late, great Dr. John Ostrom himself) that the large skeleton in the dinosaur hall of Yale's Peabody Museum is named "Emily." He told that to my daughters once when we ran into him at his job. One of nature's true gentlemen.
Yes, but now they've changed its name to "Judd."

(This joke is so obscure that it's basically a riddle, but I have faith in the Dope...)
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  #31  
Old 05-05-2009, 02:27 AM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles View Post
IWhat would you use as the plural of the English word "omnibus"?
This might help: The Motor Bus. Or maybe not.
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  #32  
Old 05-08-2009, 12:39 PM
lukelightning lukelightning is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Well, I like "platypodes". It has a nice ring to it, and is grratifyingly weird.
A group of platypus religious leaders with total power would be plenipotent pontifical platypodes.
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  #33  
Old 05-08-2009, 02:46 PM
PassMeABeer PassMeABeer is offline
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And to be of no help at all, from an australian who has seen them in the wild; I've never seen more than one at a time together (in central gippsland) and know no one who has, so there is no practical need for a plural form of the word platypus. So I guess this is mostly an exercise in english langauge usage
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:50 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by PassMeABeer View Post
And to be of no help at all, from an australian who has seen them in the wild; I've never seen more than one at a time together (in central gippsland) and know no one who has, so there is no practical need for a plural form of the word platypus. So I guess this is mostly an exercise in english langauge usage
But have two people seen one at the same time in different locations? If not, perhaps there is only one of them in all of nature.

As for moose, up here the plural is "nuisances".
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  #35  
Old 05-10-2009, 11:21 PM
Julie in Sydney Julie in Sydney is offline
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The Taronga Zoo in Sydney uses the same word for the singular and the plural. http://www.taronga.org.au/taronga-zo.../platypus.aspx

Another plural conundrum: why mouse/mice, but not spouse/spice or house/hice?
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  #36  
Old 05-10-2009, 11:45 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie
Another plural conundrum: why mouse/mice, but not spouse/spice or house/hice?
"Mice" and "houses" are left over from Old English mys (an irregular or i-umlaut plural) and husas (a regular plural). Early Old English may have started the i-umlaut thing as a result of merging Celtic and Germanic dialects, but I don't know exactly why or how.

As this comment explains, "spouse" entered English not from Old English but from French, so it got a regular plural.

And finally, you can count yourself lucky that English plurals are no more complicated than they are. There used to be another Old English plural form that consisted of adding a final "u" to the singular. E.g., one ship, two shipu. No kidding.
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  #37  
Old 05-10-2009, 11:57 PM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie in Sydney View Post
Another plural conundrum: why mouse/mice, but not spouse/spice or house/hice?
Farmer Pluribus thinks those are just dandy: Foxen in the Henhice
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