My friend and I play with octopi



Huffing Boing Boing


PUS is Greek (for foot). It’s not Latin.


I was like 90% sure that would be the first comment.


That or octopuses. Isn’t the long, horridly drawn-out argument that they’re all cromulent because reasons?
(I predict a loooooong thread)


Personally, I like “octopuses” because it sounds funny.


My friend and I play with more than one octopus


Was the other 10% something to do with “here is a Japanese woodblock print of the episode”


Why does an octo-pus have ten-tacles? It does not exactly add up; the difference is odd, even if it is even.

…also, if a tentacle gets twice as long, is it a twentytacle?


Would you say that there was a plethora?




I don’t know why so many people try to be picky about the plural and then repeat this same error. The Greek word for foot is πούς. The word octopus was derived from this, but like all scientific names is formally Latin, both in spelling and how people declined it.

It just so happens the Latin plural is octopodes, because it’s not a declension that goes from -us to -i . And yes, this is based on the Greek roots, but that doesn’t always happen; the plural of the similarly-derived polypus ended up polypi, and now saying polypodes would be incorrect.

And of course that’s if you want to ignore that now we’re using the English word octopus, with whatever plural English people care to give it. We did use octopodes in the past, but if now people want to use octopi, it’s kind of silly but no different from how the Romans made up polypi.

I’m not sure what the point there is in being annoyingly pedantic and not bothering to get things right. We can be better than insisting Latin names aren’t Latin, surely? Please?


An octopus doesn’t have 8 ‘legs’ anyway. 6 of those appendages are ‘arms’, I believe.

So the whole animal is named wrong.



Around here we play with prairie squid.


Oh god. The Comic Book Man(boy) from the Simpsons in me just wants to argue this one till I’m blue in the face (yes there’s a strong element of XKCD in there too).
Can we simply just agree that ‘octopi’ is misguided and that octopuses in English simply sounds best?
Also, I haven’t yet seen the video (because I’m at work) but not only did ‘octopi’ jump out at me but the word ‘torment’ popped up in my head when I saw ‘play’ in the title. Would someone who’s seen it please set me straight?


I think the plural should be Octopussi.


Just filming them in their garden… No more torture than somebody trying to get close-up pics of birds/squirrels/etc i.e.perhaps a minor annoyance.


Just to add to this, all gear is secured and stowed with solid buoyancy control. No numpties crash-landing on the reef or dangling crap dragging over stuff here.


My friend and I play with octopi

While you all argue over spelling, I’m still looking desperately for the anime.

(seriously, though, captivating video).


I listened to an interesting piece on the impact of whale watching on whales recently and it forced me to reassess my attitude to engaging with nature. So when I saw the word ‘play’ (rather than ‘watch’) it somehow seemed pertinent.


It’s a valid concern alright and it never hurts to check. Nice article, by the way. Interesting stuff.