All day I’ve been thinking about how ‘corpse‘ is such a serious word. It has weight and dignity. It has an air of grand solemnness and gloom. It is dark with sorrow, with mourning, with death and all it represents. To read the word, or to say it, is to feel as though a great worm has crept down into the pit of my belly.
But the plural of ‘corpse’ is ‘corpses’. I say it out loud and it has a funny ring to it. Corpses. Corpses. It’s that last syllable, it forces a rise in inflection however much I try to keep my voice lowered to a suitable pitch. Corp-ses. Corp-ses. I try slow motion.
Corp —– ses. Cor ——p ———seeeees.
Nope, no good. Surely this is unfair; don’t two or more corpses deserve more gravity and earnestness than just the one corpse? Even the word ‘corpses’ makes a sentence sound brighter than it should in the circumstances - Undertaker says to Mortuary Man, “I’ve come for my corpses,” or “Can I have my corpses, please?”
‘Corpsi’ (pronounced corps-eye) sounds more appropriate. Who do you write to get a word changed?