Crazy words in the English language

mjd   Thursday, December 04, 2003, 21:57 GMT
I don't want to pursue this any further because this has nothing to do with language. All I was contesting was your claim that "humans are not animals."
Alice   Friday, December 05, 2003, 00:17 GMT
One of the definitions for rush the noun is: a burst of activity, productivity, or speed. Hence, "rush hour" when masses of people suddenly exit from their offices and head towards home, there is a burst of activity. As a verb, rush can be defied as: to move forward, progress, or act with haste or eagerness... So, rush does not necessarily connote speed.
Mike   Friday, December 05, 2003, 21:08 GMT
Some people call the word ''hamburger'' a crazy English word, but I don't because they were invented in Hamburg.
Jack Doolan   Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 02:32 GMT
A very few centuries ago anything that flew was called a "bird", including bees, bats and butterflies. It is really only in recent centuries that we have defined birds as feathered warm blooded egg-layers. Likewise anything that lived in water might have been called a "fish" including seals, whales, crabs and octopi.

"Turtle" can mean either a shelled reptile or a dove. The second meaning is obsolete but is in the King James Bible.

Jim   Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 03:15 GMT
When you write "octopi" do you mean "octopodes", Jack?
Linus the Octopus   Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 07:20 GMT
Cambridge dictionary:
noun [C] plural octopuses or octopi

Go learn Latin!
Alice   Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 20:20 GMT
I read in my Marine Biology class last year that the proper plural was "octopods", something about greek rather than latin roots... sorry, I don't remember more.
mjd   Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 21:51 GMT
I always remember learning the plural was "octopi." My two favorite on line dictionaries, and the Cambridge dictionary list "octopuses" or "octopi" as the possible plurals.

After searching google, I think I found an explanation:

Kenneth G. Wilson (1923–). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993.

octopus (n.)

has two plurals: octopuses (pronounced AHK-tuh-pus-iz) and octopi (pronounced AHK-tuh-pei). Octopod is a relatively rare word, referring to any eight-footed mollusk, including the octopus; octopod has two plurals: octopods (pronounced AHK-tuh-podz) and octopodes (pronounced ahk-TAH-puh-deez).

In the end, they're all correct.
mjd   Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 22:01 GMT
Here is another opinion I found off this Web site.

Octopuses or Octopi?
Many people get confused about the proper plural for the word octopus. Octopus is frequently given a Latin plural, yet the word derives its second root from Greek, not Latin (the english "foot" root from Latin is "pod" or "ped", while from Greek it is "pus"). What is the proper plural, anyway? Many say "octopi." The singular looks like a Latin masculine singular, ending in "us," but it really isn't, so pluralizing it to "octopi" is not correct. Most people also mispronounce it as well. If it were "octopi," it would be pronounced "octo-pee" not "octo-pie," and that sounds silly! So, the correct plural is "octopuses," believe it or not. I prefer not to use either of them. Every time you say "octopuses" someone will correct you, and you end up in an argument. So I like to use "octopods," which is the proper plural of the taxonomic order Octopoda, containing the eight-armed cephalopods.
So,   Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 22:08 GMT
So octopod means ''mollusk''.
Octopuses   Saturday, December 13, 2003, 16:47 GMT
I call the plural of ''octopus'' as ''octopuses because I pronounce the ''us'' in octopus differently from the ''us'' in ''cactus''.
Alice   Saturday, December 13, 2003, 19:05 GMT
If I remember my marine-bio correctly, all octopods are mollusks, but not all mollusks are octopods. An octopod, as MJD posted, is a cephalopod, (a type of mollusk), with eight arms; basically, an octopus. It's just easier to say "octopods" for the plural of "octopus", than to go through all the trouble of explaining to people that "octopuses" is actually correct. More often than not, people will either not believe you, or think you're incredibly pretentious. So, I say "octopods", (on the very rare occasions that the word comes up in my daily life).