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What is the correct pluralization of octopus?

Illustration for article titled What is the correct pluralization of octopus?

The short answer is that "octopuses," "octopi," and "octopodes" are all fine (or so says Kory Stamper, an Associate Editor at Merriam-Webster).

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But there's a longer answer, as well. One that involves a flow chart. And douche-canoes. Dear readers, I present to you The Darwin Eats Cake Guide to Pluralizing "Octopus," courtesy of my new favorite webcomic, Darwin Eats Cake:

Illustration for article titled What is the correct pluralization of octopus?
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I'm seriously considering printing out copies of this just to have on hand. You know, in the event of douche-canoery. [Darwin Eats Cake via John F. Wilkins via Deep Sea News]

Top photo by Mark Laita via Sea

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DISCUSSION

MadScienceSkill
MadScienceSkill

Okay so that's cleared up (sorta). But what about Platypuses, or Platypi or Platypeople?