TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: input and output -Reply From:Shmuel Ben-Artzi <sba -at- NETMEDIA -dot- NET -dot- IL> Date:Wed, 14 Aug 1996 22:17:04 +0200
Oh the evils of allowing a language to grow and develop as a tool of social
development, of allowing it to fall into the hands of the common man.
Once we knew without even bothering to question (because the ancient Romans
told us so) that "data" was most certainly a plural. We knew because it had
a more solitary, singular form, "datum" (lit. a single piece of
information). But modern society, as it is wont to do, claimed the
gregarious "data" as its own while eschewing its lonlier sister, "datum".
And now even the most popular dictionaries have taken the easy way out,
caving in to the wave of public demand to "Simplify, simplify."
When will history learn that something as static and enduring as language
cannot be trusted to the dynamic whims of mere mortals?
sba -at- netmedia -dot- net -dot- il
>and by popular demand (much to the
>annoyance to the anal) the data is. . . . the input is...
>and the output is. Once the number is decided by the
>public, it has no plural or in the fewer cases where it is
>seen as plural, it has no singular (plural of cow is cows,
>not cattle)). The only exception I know of is "people,"
>plural for person.
TECHWR-L List Information
To send a message about technical communication to 2500+ list readers,
E-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send administrative commands
ALL other questions or problems concerning the list
should go to the listowner, Eric Ray, at ejray -at- ionet -dot- net -dot-