Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Octoman?

          In the spirit of competition, our eldest son, Richie, recently went by ambulance to the hospital. (If you're a regular reader, you know that Bob and I have been trying to one-up each other with surgeries and doctor visits.) Five days later--and five thousand gray hairs on my part-- he was discharged and is back at work.
          At one point he needed at CT-Scan, so four nurses and orderlies decided to move him to a rolling gurney.
          First, of course, all his IV tubes had to be unplugged. 
          I commented that he looked like an octopus because he had so many tubes. And that was all it took.
          “I really have a quarrel with Merriam-Webster over this,” he said. (Who quarrels with Merriam-Webster?)
          Then, as the workers transferred him to the gurney, he launched into a detailed explanation of why the plural of octopus should be octopuses.  Apparently the Latin plural would be octopi, but that’s incorrect because it actually has a Greek root. This means it would be octopodes, but if you do that, then the singular should be octopod.
          Bob and I were trying not to lock glances. I was also trying not to acknowledge the “Are you kidding me” glances of the nurses and orderlies.
          Really, Richie explained, in this case the simplest solution was also the best one. It should be octopuses. But, alas, people try to be pretentious and overdo various forms of words unnecessarily.
          Oh, good gravy. Which, by the way, is also unavailable in the hospital.
          Perfect for any hospital stay—check out my books (although you might want to avoid the humorous ones if you have stitches).

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