Is the use of media as a singular noun itself an example of the decline of vocabulary?
Webster's New World College Dictionary says "the media [usually with sing. v.]" Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary says "media … usage: The singular media and its plural medias seem to have originated in the field of advertising over 70 years ago … The popularity of the word in reference to the agencies of mass communication is leading to the formation of a mass noun construed as a singular … <the media is less interested in the party's policies—James Lewis, Guardian Weekly>"pogmoor wrote: ↑Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:58 pmIs the use of media as a singular noun itself an example of the decline of vocabulary?
Yeah, I read a book on cultural geography last year that said "literature is a media".
Yes, that usage was obviously incorrect, and I don't think Merriam Webster would say otherwise. That usage took the movement in mass communications of treating "media" as a singular noun a step too far. Even the field of mass communications would not condone "The New York Times is a media."Andrew Fryer wrote: ↑Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:48 pmYeah, I read a book on cultural geography last year that said "literature is a media".
Literature is a medium. It is one of the media. It is not one of the medias.
If Merriam Webster says otherwise, then that's an area where American and English might be drifting apart, but will probably drift back together again, like Gondwanaland.
It's interesting because I'd have said that media is not a collective noun, whereas data is, although the singular datum still exists.
I think Will Self is the source of the observation that stamina was originally a plural but has lost its singular.
I wanted to say that the politicians are the ones redefining language at the moment, so the media might not be feeling the need to.
I haven't read a book on general linguistics since the early 80s, and I didn't find it interesting enough to read any more on the subject, so I don't know if there's a quick answer to this.