Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#5614 - 08/24/00 04:25 AM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

Top
#5615 - 08/24/00 05:43 AM Re: Virii - why not?
RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
Virii ?? why two "i"s ? (apart from hackneyed jokes about being able to see better)
Surely the plural of "virus" should be "viri": it could only be virii if the singular were virius (c.f. radius/radii)

It is the sort of question that bugs you, is it not?


Top
#5616 - 08/24/00 06:08 AM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

Top
#5617 - 08/24/00 07:22 AM Re: Virii - why not?
RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
This is what is vulgarly referred to as "a cop out."

"Beauty is truth," you say; "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," is an aphorism also well accredited. Put them together and you can deduce that truth is in the eye of the beholder.
Which gives "viruses" an equal claim, I aver.


Top
#5618 - 08/24/00 08:06 AM Re: Virii - why not?
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
The plural is viri in Latin but viruses in English. I have seen it as viri in medical journals, but not anywhere else that I recall.

I suspect the reason for this apparent discrepancy is that viruses trips off the tongue better than do radiuses and hippopotamuses. The accented syllable (vir) is too close to the -i to be sonorous (at least in English).

Along those lines, most dictionaries show octopuses or octopi as the plural of octopus. In my view the latter is incorrect since octopus is not from Latin, but from Greek okto (eight) plus pous (foot).



_________________________
TEd

Top
#5619 - 08/24/00 11:06 AM Re: Virii - why not?
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass
>Along those lines, most dictionaries show octopuses or octopi as the plural of octopus. In my view the latter is incorrect since octopus is not from Latin, but from Greek okto (eight) plus pous (foot).

well, maybe we should compromise with octopodes then...


Top
#5620 - 08/24/00 02:47 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

Top
#5621 - 08/24/00 06:33 PM Re: Virii - why not?
lusy Offline
member

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 140
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
well, maybe we should compromise with octopodes then...

Thanks yet again, tsuwm, for setting us all straight. My beloved Chambers even agrees with you!!
It gives "octpuses" as archaic, "octopi" as wrong, and "octopodes" as correct. And I have seen this form used often, can't remember specifically where or when.

Rgds, lusy


Top
#5622 - 08/24/00 06:48 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

Top
#5623 - 08/25/00 04:11 AM Re: Virii - why not?
Bridget Offline
addict

Registered: 06/27/00
Posts: 444
Loc: Sydney Australia
>, maybe we should compromise with octopodes then<

Can I infer from this that now I have moved to Australia I am living in an Antipus?

Shame, I always rather liked cats.....


Top
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >

Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8713 Members
16 Forums
13800 Topics
214424 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
Byz, EdithBraemar, sherilla, AnonAmos, Blanco14
8713 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 28 Guests and 2 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
Bazr 122
wofahulicodoc 97
endymion6 96
LukeJavan8 91
jenny jenny 64
A C Bowden 35
Tromboniator 8
Faldage 6
zmjezhd 2
olly 2
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13799
Jackie 11609
tsuwm 10513
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
AnnaStrophic 6511
Wordwind 6296
LukeJavan8 6295
of troy 5400
BranShea 5282

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 2014 Wordsmith