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Question About Plurals  
User currently offlineMas a330 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 714 times:

I was just wondering...

if the plural for cactus is cacti, what is the plural for octopus is octopuses or octopi? and does that make the plural for penis penises or peni? (no offence)

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineIhadapheo From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 56
Reply 1, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 695 times:

from an old dictionary,
pe·nis Pronunciation Key (pns)
n. pl. pe·nis·es or pe·nes (-nz)


So you have a choice
Yours
Ihadapheo




Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers
User currently offlineTrickijedi From United States of America, joined May 2001, 3266 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 690 times:

You just happen to have picked two words that have multiple plural forms.

The plural for octopus can either be octopuses or octopi and the plural for penis can be penes or penises.



Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
User currently offlineMas a330 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 688 times:

thanks a lot for the info, ihadapheo and trickjedi.

User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 682 times:

I thought plural of octopus was octocunts

Also, bonus points for first person to post the plural of 'praying mantis' without looking it up.



"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineIhadapheo From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 56
Reply 5, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 679 times:

my guess is ...
Hillary Clinton...or Monica Lewinski... but then I could be wrong..

I give up what's the answer

Yours
Ihadapheo



Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers
User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 676 times:

heh heh, the answer is mantid. Go figure.


"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineMas a330 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 10 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 674 times:

er..... prayings mantis? praying mantises? praying manti? hahahahaha

User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21391 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 657 times:

The problem is that words that were "borrowed" from other languages (latin, greek or french, for instance) will sometimes carry over the plural forms from their native language. These inherited forms decay over time and are gradually replaced by the forms from the "host language". It basically depends on how much the term is "at home" in the new language, already...

User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 34
Reply 9, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 645 times:


Latin was my first foreign language, and I learned it at school for six years (now all the German users know which type of school I attended  Smile/happy/getting dizzy ).

There are two ways of creating the plural of a word ending in "-us".
1.: o-conjugation - dominus -> domini
2.: u-conjugation - ictus -> ictus (with a long u-sound)

So, without knowing whether cactus and octopus are o- or u-conjugation, I can´t tell whether their respective plurals are cacti/octopi or cactus/octopus.

Daniel Smile

P.S.: The ethymologically correct plural of "forum" is "fora".


User currently offlineTrickijedi From United States of America, joined May 2001, 3266 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 623 times:

...and the correct spelling for "ethymologically" is "etymologically."  Smile






Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 619 times:

But the correct spelling for pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconisis is 'pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconisis'


"Shaddap you!"
User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21391 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 605 times:

Airsicknessbag: Latin was my first foreign language, and I learned it at school for six years (now all the German users know which type of school I attended).

I was at least lucky enough to switch to another school to escape ancient greek...!  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 34
Reply 13, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 593 times:

Oh, my school was liberal, Klaus: we had the free choice between Greek and French as third language. Guess what 68 out of 77 people chose  Laugh out loud - threats like "only those who learn Greek will be allowed to participate in the school trip to Greece" notwithstanding. (In the end, even us superficial "Frenchies" were allowed to take part Big grin - two DL A310 flights, oh what a trip…)

I certainly don´t regret taking Latin first, it helped a great deal in learning French, Spanish and even English.

Daniel Smile


User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21391 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 592 times:

Airsicknessbag: Oh, my school was liberal, Klaus: we had the free choice between Greek and French as third language. Guess what 68 out of 77 people chose   - threats like "only those who learn Greek will be allowed to participate in the school trip to Greece" notwithstanding. (In the end, even us superficial "Frenchies" were allowed to take part  - two DL A310 flights, oh what a trip…)

 Big thumbs up

When I switched to the more science-oriented school, it was a bit like escaping prison. Even the remaining latin classes seemed easy. Never learned french, though.  Sad

Airsicknessbag: I certainly don´t regret taking Latin first, it helped a great deal in learning French, Spanish and even English.

Well, yes... latin has turned out to be only almost useless...  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineTrickijedi From United States of America, joined May 2001, 3266 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 583 times:

Jetservice,
I ran pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconisis by spellchecker and it didn't detect it as a word. Is that the singular or plural form?  Big grin



Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
User currently offlineDelta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 583 times:

The confusion lies in the fact that in English usage, some Latin words use the Latin form for plural, while others use the common English form (adding "s" or "es"). Some, such as "penis" can use both forms. It's best to look it up in a dictionary to get it right.

I my school, Latin was not a "foreign" language -- it was a part of Classics, and was elective. But students taking Latin still had to take a "foreign" language, which in our geographic region was French -- no choice.

Pete


User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 575 times:

Trick, that is the singular form. The plural form would, I suspect, be the same as the plural form of hypnosis....hypnosi?


"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineDelta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 570 times:

Latin words ending in "-is" would have their plural form ending in in "-es", not "-i".

"-i" endings are typically plural for singular words ending in "-us".

Pete


User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21391 posts, RR: 54
Reply 19, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 563 times:

Delta-flyer: Latin words ending in "-is" would have their plural form ending in in "-es", not "-i".

Ha ha. I wish it were that simple. Special forms are a specialty in latin.

The rule is almost the exception...  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineLubcha132 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2776 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (11 years 10 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 562 times:

speaking of the praying mantis, i saw one last night on my screen door..it was pretty darn neat.

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