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The New York Times wrote, "The use of defamation suits has also raised questions about how to police a news media..." To me, "media" is plural, so saying "A news media doesn't work." Is it a single news medium or many?
 
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It's an odd one. It definitely sounds wrong with "a" but it sounds OK with "the". It even sounds OK (to me) to say "the news media is responsible for..." and treat it as a group noun. The problem comes because even if we treat it as a group noun (as with "the Government is/are" or "The orchestra is/are") then putting "a" in front of it automatically renders it into a singular example of the class - and in this case there is a distinct singular form "medium".

Or to put it another way, I agree. Big Grin


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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I think it should be a news medium (which doesn't really fit) or the news media (which does).
 
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I know that the word media is plural, like the word data, but sometimes they just sound so odd. For example, this is a sentence in a document:

"Below is the breakout table of these data." I corrected the original which was "this data," but I still think it sounds better the other way.
 
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It's like "It's I" or "it's me" - nominative case is indubitably "correct" but has been misused so much that it can sound wrong.

Datum is the singular, a table is full of data, the "table of these data" is clearly right, as far as prescriptivists (like me) are concerned.

But...

Under attack by the accumulating weight of (mis)usage, correctness has eroded. Perhaps irreparably.
 
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Unlike Kalleh, "data" as plural sounds right to me.

As for the "I-We" issue, I am reminded of an old joke: Clancy dies and goes to heaven. St Peter says, "Who's there?" Clancy replies, "It's me, Clancy. St P. says, OK, come on in! Marie dies and goes to heaven. Again, "Who's there" "It's me, Marie," St Peter again says, "Come on in." Rafael dies and goes to heaven. Same thing happens. An English teacher dies and goes to heaven. "Who's there," asks St Peter, and hears the reply, "It is I, Agnes Wilson." St Peter, Rafael, Marie and Clancy confer, then all yell, "Go to hell you old school teacher!"
 
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Funny, Geoff! I say "It's I," but I do think "It's me," sounds better as well.

One thing I have learned here, Hab, is that language evolves, and that has definitely made an impression on me. I used to go crazy with the red pens on my student papers, and now I realize that was a mistake. I should have focused more on the content of the paper and less on Strunk and White.
 
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I think it's best to limit your linguistic fights to those in which you have a chance of winning. In this case, I'd say the results are in and the "data = information" crew has come out on top. It might be best to limit "a table of these data" constructions to more formal writing, where readers will recognize it as correct and appreciate the bravery you've shown in risking ridicule for sounding odd, and maybe simply recast the sentence as "a table of the input" for everyone else.

I've been on the side of the "this data" people for pretty much forever. I can recall saying things like "a table of these datas" just to make the prescriptivists cringe and turn pale.

Ah, fun times!
 
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Yes, changing the sentence when it sounds awkward is best, I agree.

Another word along these lines (and I remember Richard with this one) is "agenda" versus "agendum." He always use to use "agendum," but that is one you don't often see, do you?
 
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Howard Cosell once discussed the various "football stadia" in the US. He sounded like a complete fool.
 
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There are times when "data" is not appropriate, and one using it would be known as unschooled: https://www.reference.com/worl...ine-9d289d903c5e726d
 
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Wow - I have never heard of "stadia" before. That is really funny. Big Grin
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Wow - I have never heard of "stadia" before. That is really funny. Big Grin


Wikipedia:
quote:
Stadia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
Look up stadia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Stadia may refer to:

One of the plurals of stadium, along with "stadiums"
The plural of stadion, an ancient unit of distance
Stadia (Caria), a town of ancient Caria, now in Turkey
Stadia mark, marks on a telescopic sight's reticle that permit stadiametric rangefinding or altitude measurements
Stadia rod, a related surveying tool used with telescopic based survey instruments
Stadiametric rangefinding, a way of measuring distance using a telescope and triangulation
Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia, a multidisciplinary institution of higher education in Finland
Google Stadia, a video game streaming service launched in 2019

See also
All pages with titles containing Stadia
Stadion (disambiguation)
Stadium (disambiguation)
 
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I have heard occasionally the use of "stadia" as the plural of "stadium" but I prefer "stadiums". As with a lot of these classical plurals, it has too much of a whiff of pretentiousness about it for my taste. My rule of thumb is that if I can imagine Boris Johnson saying it, then I will avoid it.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Good going, Tinny! It seems you've surveyed all the uses!

Bob, I've not heard Boris Johnson speaking, but if he talks as he looks, it's sound like Larry, Moe, and Curly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Stooges
 
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Boris's speaking is a mixture of the following things

1. Bumbling, semi-coherent rambling reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne at the peak of his addiction problems.
2. Lies, half-truths, BS and self-aggrandisement that I am sure you would be all too familiar with
3. Classical quotations in ancient Latin and Greek that he scatters liberally with little regard for whether or not they are appropriate simply because he wants to show what a clever fellow he is and how jolly well educated he was. (His former schoolmasters tend to disagree.)

With regard to the latter, I have a poem that I wrote, which I shall present with notations.

Some people, it seems, in life, have a mission
To show to the world their great erudition
Whatever they say, they believe it true that in
All cases it sounds so much better in Latin.

Among other things, they will say inter alia
If you don’t understand, then that isn’t THEIR failure
Quid pro quo, tit for tat, scratching each others backs
If you do as you’re told, ex amicitia pax

They know no one listens to a thing that they say
No adaequatio is needed of intellectus et rei
It doesn’t matter, what de facto they meant
Ad captandum vulgus, is their truest intent.

Regibus et mendacibus, all are as one
In burying truth in words dead and gone
So forget carpe diem, carpe vinum in aeternum.
Bibo ergo sum, and omnes ad infernum.

Rough translations: Inter Alia (among other things) quid pro quo (you do something for me and I’ll do something for you) ex amicitia pax (peace comes from friendship) adaequatio intellectus et rei (correspondence of belief and reality) de facto (in fact) ad captandum vulgus (to enthrall the masses) regibus et mendacibus (kings (or leaders) and liars) carpe diem (seize the day) carpe vinum (seize the wine) in aeternum (for ever) bibo ergo sum (I drink therefore I am) omnes ad infernum (to hell with it all)... there you go, all translated


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Here's a good article,

https://www.theguardian.com/co...minister-latin-greek


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Thanks for bringing The Guardian article up. I subscribe, but missed that.

Any comparison with Donald T. Rump is wrong. T. Rump thinks "Cogito ergo sum" is a money counting machine.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
Thanks for bringing The Guardian article up. I subscribe, but missed that.

Any comparison with Donald T. Rump is wrong. T. Rump thinks "Cogito ergo sum" is a money counting machine.


Oh don't get me wrong. The only real similarities are their penchant for disregarding facts in favour of their feeling of self importance, their blustering, bumbling, rambling incoherence and, of course, their haircuts. Incidentally Johnson was described by one of his University professors as the worst student ever to come out of Eton college, a buffoon and an idler.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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