Putting our eight foots in it;Letter

5th June 1998 at 01:00
The sentence "octopi are entertaining" appears in the "Best of times" review (Friday, May 22).

I consulted two dictionaries. One gave no plural form of octopus, but said that the creature was a cephalopod mollusc with eight arms. Another word "octopod" appeared above this word and this creature is a cephalopod of the order of Octopoda.

A second dictionary suggested: "plural octopuses, sometimes octopodes (octopi is wrong)".

The word is Greek - okto equals eight feet (pous meaning feet and podos meaning foot).

Therefore octopi removes the word which means feet.

I am concerned that the brilliance of the mathematics is going to be clouded by incorrect language.

Please can you do something to put the matter right?

Margaret Ford, 106 Brands Hill Avenue, High Wycombe, Bucks

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