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Grammar/Spelling/Syntax/English lessons

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by j, May 12, 2006.

  1. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Stylish Dinosaur

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    Media: Usage Note: The etymologically plural form media is often used as a singular to refer to a particular means of communication, as in The Internet is the most exciting new media since television. Many people regard this usage as incorrect, preferring medium in such contexts.·People also use media with the definite article as a collective term to refer not to the forms of communication themselves so much as the communities and institutions behind them. In this sense, the media means something like "the press." Like other collective nouns, it may take a singular or plural verb depending on the intended meaning. If the point is to emphasize the multifaceted nature of the press, a plural verb may be more appropriate: The media have covered the trial in a variety of formats. Frequently, however, media stands as a singular noun for the aggregate of journalists and broadcasters: The media has not shown much interest in covering the trial. This development of a singular media parallels that of more established words such as data and agenda, which are also Latin plurals that have acquired a singular meaning.·The singular medium cannot be used as a collective noun for the press. The sentence No medium has shown much interest in covering the issue, would suggest that the lack of interest is in the means of communication itself rather than in its practitioners. The American HeritageÂ[​IMG] Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright Â[​IMG]2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
     


  2. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Distinguished Member

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    I believe the word news is actually singular, despite its Old French origins being plural. Any native speakers around?
    here's what webster's says
     


  3. imageWIS

    imageWIS Stylish Dinosaur

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    I like it the SF form of English.

    Jon.
     


  4. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Distinguished Member

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    and so now you have the news media, in which a plural noun becomes an adjective, and another plural noun becomes a singular noun.
     


  5. Fabienne

    Fabienne Distinguished Member

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    here's what webster's says

    They spelled the French word "NouNelles" with an n? Besides, one usually quotes the Old French in such a case, ie. the word at the point it entered the English language, not the similar word in the original language in its actual form. Maybe the custom has changed since 1913?
     


  6. skalogre

    skalogre Distinguished Member

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    and so now you have the news media, in which a plural noun becomes an adjective, and another plural noun becomes a singular noun.


    Ngrghaaaaaargh

    *Head explodes*
     


  7. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    Media:
    Usage Note: The etymologically plural form media is often used as a singular to refer to a particular means of communication, as in The Internet is the most exciting new media since television. Many people regard this usage as incorrect, preferring medium in such contexts.


    This is SO wrong.
     


  8. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    They spelled the French word "NouNelles" with an n? Besides, one usually quotes the Old French in such a case, ie. the word at the point it entered the English language, not the similar word in the original language in its actual form. Maybe the custom has changed since 1913?
    I think that 1913 dictionary was scanned in and OCR'ed, and that N may be a typo.
     


  9. dusty

    dusty Distinguished Member

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    When one does not use commas after concluding words and the word ‘which’, 99% of the time there should be one after such words, so often people under use commas, it is somewhat annoying.

    For example, after the following words:
    Therefore
    So
    Thus
    However


    I don't know that this is such a bad thing. The pause created by these commas (when used with all of the words you've listed except "thus") seems unnecessary. They make you sound like you're reading a proof.
     


  10. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Usually. Though in your post, you should have used one after. [​IMG]
    Good catch. But if that's the case then is that usage in conflict with styles that ommit the terminal comma? E.g. if you write "I like shoes, suits and ties" then should you not also ommit the terminal comma when writing "I like shoes, suits, etc." as etc. is simply short for et cetera (Latin: and others). It seems inconsistent to treat the Latin form of 'and' differently from the English form.
     


  11. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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    We should all write like Nabokov and Joyce and for added gravitas, Mann.
     


  12. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Distinguished Member

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    Good catch. But if that's the case then is that usage in conflict with styles that ommit the terminal comma? E.g. if you write "I like shoes, suits and ties" then should you not also ommit the terminal comma when writing "I like shoes, suits, etc." as etc. is simply short for et cetera (Latin: and others). It seems inconsistent to treat the Latin form of 'and' differently from the English form.
    that's an interesting point, i can imagine people using it that way...although it might come off as slightly affected, simply because it's not the common way.
     


  13. Margaret

    Margaret Distinguished Member

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    Good catch.

    But if that's the case then is that usage in conflict with styles that ommit the terminal comma? E.g. if you write "I like shoes, suits and ties" then should you not also ommit the terminal comma when writing "I like shoes, suits, etc." as etc. is simply short for et cetera (Latin: and others). It seems inconsistent to treat the Latin form of 'and' differently from the English form.


    Yes, very interesting point. Though while I personally would write

    "I like shoes, suits, shirts and ties."

    I would write

    "I like shoes, suits, shirts, and all other types of clothing."

    For some reason, when the last thing in the list is "etc.," all the rest," or some other expression indicating a continuing list of additional unspecified objects, I would use the comma; but I wouldn't use it if the last element were a specific item.

    But that's just instinct -- I can't argue that it's logical or "correct".
    [​IMG]
     


  14. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    Wrong: "For all intensive purposes"
    Right: "For all intents and purposes"

    Wrong: "If I had my rathers" (or other various weird variations)
    Right: "If I had my druthers (or 'druthers)" - Short for "If I had my 'would rathers'"

    Wrong: I rather _(verb)_
    Right: I would rather _(verb)_

    Wrong: "Acrosst" or "Acrossed" or something (phonetic)
    Right: Across
     


  15. JBZ

    JBZ Distinguished Member

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    Wrong: "For all intensive purposes"
    Right: "For all intents and purposes"


    THANK YOU. This one always drives me crazy. Here's one more:

    Wrong: "The whole kitten caboodle."
    Right: "The whole kit and caboodle."
     


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