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  1. #1
    Rogue Mutt
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    Clawfoots or Clawfeet?

    I'm poaching this from an Internet friend's blog post. What do you think? Clawfoots or Clawfeet?

    A couple of months ago, I posted that I was having trouble coming up with a suitable name for some animals that will appear in Fifth Season, Book Four of the Season Avatars series. These animals are based on dinosaurs; they're smart as velociraptors and physically resemble Deinonychus. My heroine, Ysabel, initially called them "mixups" since they resemble lizards mixed with birds. Since "mixup" isn't exactly a fear-inspiring name, I struggled for a long time to come up with something better. Finally, as I was editing Fifth Season last week, I went back to the description of the beasts and came up with "clawfoot" for the long sickle-shaped claw Deinonychus had on its feet. However, that leaves me with a dilemma: do I use "clawfoots" or "clawfeet" for the plural? While "clawfeet" might be technically correct, to me, the "feet" in this term seem to refer to actual feet, not the entire animal. I prefer "clawfoots" myself, but I'll have to do some research to see if there's a preferred way to handle this plural.

    Would you use "clawfoots" or "clawfeet" as the plural? Or should I come up with a new name that avoids these issues?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Miriam-Webster gives the plural of "bigfoot" as "bigfeet", with an alternative "bigfoots". In actual usage, Google Ngram Viewer shows "bigfeet" to be, by far, the more predominantly used.

    What does this have to do with the "clawfoot/clawfeet" issue, you ask?… beats me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Why not "clawfoot" for both singular and plural? That's a common enough occurrence in English. "Clawfeet" sounds diminutive and, I don't know, a bit silly compared to "clawfoot". Same with "bigfeet" - kinda makes me chuckle.

    It's a dark night...which sounds more intimidating?

    "Watch out. The clawfoot are out tonight."

    "Watch out. The clawfeet are out tonight."


    Even if they aren't intimidating, I still like "clawfoot" better.

    Clawfoot are docile and friendly. They make good pets.
    Last edited by John Oberon; 08-12-2016 at 11:39 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post

    "clawfoot" "bigfeet" - It's a dark night…
    which sounds more intimidating?
    Bigfoot. Hands down.

  5. #5
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    I would take the easy way out, find a different name, and keep on with the story. Several of my characters' names are tags, "Lippy" and "Zitface" so I also remember who they are when I'm writing.

  6. #6
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    Not sure if this has been touched on yet, but I think this is an opportunity. Why not use the debate between the two terms as a minor point of contention/humor within the story? Have two characters argue about it, for instance. Solves your issue and enhances the story.

  7. #7
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    Clawfeet definitely! :-)

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