mas a330
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 11:12 pm

Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 12:46 am

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)
 
IHadAPheo
Posts: 5499
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 3:26 pm

RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 1:02 am

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
 
trickijedi
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 1:07 am

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!
 
mas a330
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 11:12 pm

RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 1:08 am

thanks a lot for the info, ihadapheo and trickjedi.
 
JetService
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 1:21 am

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!"
 
IHadAPheo
Posts: 5499
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 3:26 pm

RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 1:30 am

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
 
JetService
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RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 1:31 am

heh heh, the answer is mantid. Go figure.
"Shaddap you!"
 
mas a330
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 11:12 pm

RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 1:33 am

er..... prayings mantis? praying mantises? praying manti? hahahahaha
 
Klaus
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RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 5:22 am

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...
 
airsicknessbag
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Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2000 2:45 am

RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 9:16 am


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".
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 2:07 pm

...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!
 
JetService
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 3:01 pm

But the correct spelling for pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconisis is 'pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconisis'
"Shaddap you!"
 
Klaus
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Airsicknessbag

Sun Sep 15, 2002 8:04 pm

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
 
airsicknessbag
Posts: 4626
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2000 2:45 am

RE: Question About Plurals

Sun Sep 15, 2002 11:21 pm

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
 
Klaus
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Airsicknessbag

Sun Sep 15, 2002 11:29 pm

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
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: Question About Plurals

Mon Sep 16, 2002 1:20 am

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!
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: Question About Plurals

Mon Sep 16, 2002 1:24 am

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
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
JetService
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: Question About Plurals

Mon Sep 16, 2002 3:09 am

Trick, that is the singular form. The plural form would, I suspect, be the same as the plural form of hypnosis....hypnosi?
"Shaddap you!"
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: Question About Plurals

Mon Sep 16, 2002 3:17 am

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
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
Klaus
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

Delta-flyer

Mon Sep 16, 2002 3:51 am

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
 
lubcha132
Posts: 2642
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2001 10:37 am

RE: Question About Plurals

Mon Sep 16, 2002 3:53 am

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

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