BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor
« Previous | Main | Next »

Your Letters

15:12 UK time, Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Kat (Monday's letters) the pedants' plural for the octopus is 'octopodes' since the word is of Ancient Greek rather than Latin origin - this is why the pedants' word for 'Latin name' for a species is 'scientific name', since not all species names are in Latin. For regular folk ˜octopuses" are perfectly acceptable; this also avoids invoking James Bond film titles. Pedants may wish to note that Octopussy wasn't a James Bond book title in itself... I could go on; the world of the pedant is a Mandelbrotian nightmare. I'll get my anorak.
Duncan, Hurstpierpoint

Kat, (Monday's letters)
modern dictionaries say 'octopuses' or 'octopi' are acceptable, but marine biologists prefer 'octopodes'. Although quite how you could make something of that in Scrabble, I have no idea...
Fee Lock, Hastings, East Sussex

Re: Iron Lady's passing. Handbags at half mast today.
Candace, New Jersey, US

To Rob Falconer (Monday's letters), I don't know why you're worrying about that rabbit eating 50 quids worth of lettuce and carrots or whatever. He'll still have three quid left over for frivolities such as visiting the Bunny Club.
Emigrant, Marseille, France

Kat, actually it's octopodes as the root word is Greek (eight-footed) not Latin. Yours in Pedantry.
Heather Simmons, Champaign, Illinois, USA

I'm aware that Lady Thatcher is dead, but the Magazine Monitor is more important.
Rob Mimpriss, Bangor, Wales

Oh, poor PM. I recommend a nice cup of hot cocoa, some biscuits, and a good thoughtless movie on the telly. Maybe an early bedtime, too.
Dragon, Concord, Calif, US

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.