by Paul Niquette
Copyright ©1996 Resource Books All rights reserved.

televisions n. Devices for reconversions of transmitted images and accompanying sounds. 

Curiously, some words never get pluralled.

  • As much as our modern environments surround us with "pieces of equipment," we still don't say "equipments," do we.
  • Gather all you can, you still have only one "information" to tell.  Some "informations" may never be learned.
  • Read the books of the world, and count the number of "literatures" you discover.
  • In your whole lifetime, how many "knowledges" will you acquire?
  • How many "musics" will you hear?
To be fair, some nouns are singularly uncomfortable with the singular as well.
  • Taking a "physic" has nothing to do with science.
  • None of today's "journalisms" refer to an isolated report, however brief, as a "new."
Other nouns seem ironically unsuited to numbers altogether.
  • One "entropy" plus one "entropy" does not equal two "entropies."
  • Multiple "energies" are as rare as a single "energy."
  • Such is the way of a "flesh."
As for the case at hand, people my age want to say "television set" for the noun form.  That's all.  No big deal.

You can tell people's age by the words they use sometimes.

  • For "a place that keeps food cold," one generation will say "ice box," the next, "Frigidaire," and boomers, "refrigerator."
  • My parents said "radio set," then adapted to "radio."
  • In the fifties, I worked on "radar sets."  Today they're "radars."
The plural gives up harder than the singular, by the way. More people have two or more "television sets" than have "televisions."  Mark my words.

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