Tag Archives: Ringo

Pluralses

Common octopus on seabed
By albert kok – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2795257

Others, such as Alan Sherman, who was was parodying songs while Weird Al Yankovich was just beginning accordion lessons have contemplated the mysteries of pluralizing words. I generally accept the weirdness of English in general without too much difficulties, but there are some idiosyncracies that must be challenged.

I’ve resigned myself to the pluralization of fish. If it’s all one species, the plural is fish. If there are more than one species, it’s fishes. So, if you had 1,000 salmon, you have 1,000 fish. If you have 999 salmon, but one tuna, then you have fishes. You’d think that there would be some defined tipping point. In either case, the average fisherman would focus on the one-thousand first fish that got away. It put all the others to shame.

I’ve always been fascinated by the octopus and even had one as a pet for a while. We got along fine, so while I had him, I never brought up the following, lest it embarrass or offend him.

Octopus is a Latin word derived from a Greek word, but a Latin word, nevertheless. I am an alumnus of several universities (much to their embarrassment). When I am with old classmates, we are alumni, the plural of alumnus. My wife, on the other hand, is an alumna for which the plural is alumnae unless there are males in attendance, in which case together they are alumni. (Chauvinistic Romans!)

So, alumnus, alumni. Octopus, octopuses. Why not octopi?

All of this creates a significant dilemna. Did the Beatles song refer to a single Octopoda, as in “An Octopus’s Garden” or several who were sharing a garden, as in “An Octopuses’ Garden”?

Ringo, feel free to reply and resolve this issue.

I Blame Ringo

Harmony guitar after a little TLC

Harmony guitar after a little TLC

This past weekend we had dinner one night at Abbey Road, in Virginia Beach (Great restaurant!). The next night we ate at the Rock Fish (Another Great restaurant!), which boasts a collection of guitars once used by the Beatles. Mind you, most are “rehearsal” guitars, but as every musician knows, there are more hours spent practicing and rehearsing than performing.

As I may have mentioned, the hermit crab I got at the beach (and a playmate added later) ended up with a much better home that I found at the local Goodwill. I believe that Goodwill and other such stores are an important part of the re-use, re-purpose, recycle movement, and there are always treasures to be found. The crab terrarium was one, but I also stumbled across a $25.00 guitar.

I have steel stringed acoustic and electric guitars, but this one was designed for nylon strings—something I’ve wanted for a while. In its day it was probably a good starter guitar, and in its day, they made them to last. Naturally, I bought it, brought it home, cleaned it up and restrung it. It will take several days, if not weeks, for the strings to stabilize (which is normal for such guitars) but I can’t wait to see how it plays.

Therefore, I blame Ringo. Why? Two reasons: 1) Of all the instruments on display, none were Ringo’s. 2) In my humble opinion, of the four of them he has always had the best sense of humor, pointing out that the Beatles were a band in which he played for a small portion of his career. Besides, I think he would probably enjoy the fact that I blame him for me buying a $25 guitar at Goodwill.

So there, Ringo, and if you’re so inclined, pass the blame along to your brother-in-law, Joe Walsh (although since he’s a fellow ham, if I get to “work” him on the air, I’ll forgive you both.)