The 'media'-as-a-singular-noun revolution rolls on!

Columbia Journalism Review

Merrill Perlman says I don't need to feel like a tool. You see, last week, I proposed that our culture give up on the quest to keep media a plural noun. Perlman writes:

“Media” as a mass noun, taking a singular the way “furniture” does, has reached Stage 5 on the Language-Change Index, Bryan A. Garner’s Modern American Usage says, meaning it is completely proper English. Garner does note, however, that “that usage still makes some squeamish.”

In fact, Perlman has been working this seam long before I showed up with my hammer and pick. Back in 2009, she wrote a piece about the de-Latinization of English in which she bet that media-as-a-plural-noun was probably on the wrong side of history: "If we asked a bunch of 'mediums' to look into the future, chances are they would see a singular victory."

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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