Re: input and output

Subject: Re: input and output
From: Kathryn Whitver <kathrynw -at- MICROWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 09:30:27 -0500

>I think it depends on how the terms are used. In most cases, "input" and
>"output" are collective nouns and would not be pluralized. You would say, "My
>computer output was wrong," meaning that all the various data output from
>your computer was wrong.

>However, in some cases "input" and "output" refer to singular things, like
>the physical inputs on a VCR or outputs of a stereo receiver or amplifier, in
>which case they are pluralized when referring to more than one.

Good point, Tony. But I have to disagree with you. In the first
case, the use is correct. In the second case, the inputs and outputs
are used incorrectly. In that case, you are talking about input devices and
output devices. Specifically, jacks or plugs. The jacks or plugs
may be input plugs or output jacks, but there is no physical thing
called an input or an output.

I checked my American Heritage dictionary (input) and as a
noun, it is always used in the singular form. Just like in your
first example. Inputs and outputs (with the "s") are transitive
verbs, along with inputted and inputting.

I'm glad you brought this up and forced me to think more.
That's what I enjoy about this list and I look forward to hearing
more. But for now, I'll stick to my original story.


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