June 13, 2012

"The plural of 'vinyl' is 'vinyl.'"

A study in peevology.

18 comments:

Petunia said...

Oh for heaven's sake.

The plural of "vinyl" is "records".

What a bunch of hipster snobs.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

When I was in the business, I always pondered:

What is the plural of prospectus? If I give you several is it prospectuses (make you sound like a hissing snake) or is it prospecti.

Oh Hell...just take these. I know you will never read them but I have to give them to you.

MadisonMan said...

Here's a prospectus. And here's another prospectus. And another.

The linked-to article has comments that are filled with apostrophe catastrophes, as people talk about 45's and 78's. (sigh), all the while arguing a semantic point re: vinyl.

So the Divinyls should have just been named the Divinyl?

edutcher said...

Similar to programmer jargon:

The plural of meg (as in megabytes) or gig is meg or gig.

You can spot management in a second, as they will say megs and gigs.

Crimso said...

What a bunch of utter bullshit. If "gender" can be redefined to mean "sex" then we can declare "purple" to be the plural of "vinyl."

John Burgess said...

Ah, hipsters... can't live with 'em, can't club 'em to death fast enough.

chickelit said...

The name came to us circuitously. Ethylene used to be made from dehydrating ethanol (spiritus vinum) using vitriol. Chlorinating ethylene gives mixtures of chlorinated vinyls, some of which polymerize. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the most common plastic in this group and I think is related to the material used to make vinyl records.

In chemistry, vinyl is usually an adjectve.

Crunchy Frog said...

But what's the singular of "feces"?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Beach Brutus said...

You have 20 odds and ends on a table -- you bump the table and 19 fall off -- what's left on the table an odd or an end?

rcommal said...

You have 20 odds and ends on a table -- you bump the table and 19 fall off -- what's left on the table an odd or an end?

In my experience, it's the one thing it wouldn't have bothered you had it fallen off the table. Whether that's odd or a case of fate getting even--well, I suppose it depends on one's point of view.

rcommal said...

We still have many recordings on vinyl (though no working turntable at present). We tend to refer to them as records or albums (and occasionally as 45s, EPs or LPs). The collection of them we refer to as "on vinyl," for purposes of differentiation.

Chip S. said...

The plural of hipster is doofi.

Greg Hlatky said...

June 1 was National Punch a Hipster Day.

Smilin' Jack said...

The plural of 'vinyl' is 'vinyls.'

'Vinyl' is a modern coinage, so it forms a regular English plural; only words originating in Old English or imported from other languages form irregular plurals. Also, the kind of idiot hipsters who prefer analog to digital recording are always wrong about everything.

EDH said...

So the Divinyls should have just been named the Divinyl?

Kind of explains the reason for the whole "Touch Myself" thing.

Paddy O said...

It is interesting that the debate concerns what is essentially not only 100+ year old technology but also 4 generations removed from current technology.

It's like they're debating the proper grammar for talking about blacksmith tools.

Eric said...

So "the plural of vinyl is 'vinyl'" is an invented "rule", more or less the opposite of the general patterns in the language...

Baloney. This rule follows the general pattern. Vinyl is a material. It's singular in any quantity without a container. You don't ask "what is the plural of cement?" or "what is the plural of milk?"

Fred Drinkwater said...

@edutcher: Hmm, I don't know. I tend to use gig or meg in context where one could say gigabyte or megabyte, but use gigs when one could say gigabytes. E.g. "We have a 50-gig drive on that system, but only 128 megs of RAM." (Actually, to be true to my age, I should probably use this example: "There's a 5-meg drum and 256 K of core.")