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  1. #1
    Tak is offline Newbie
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    Apr 2008
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    Default software vs. a special software

    Hello again!

    While reading "The Husband" by Dean Koontz, I ran across the following passage, "... But when you process it with a special software, the photos and text combine and re-form into ...."

    I am fully aware that "software" is an uncountable, so I googled "a special software", assuming that this is a case of writers' privileged whim. To my surprise, I got 183,000 hits.

    My question is: Is this the case of an uncountable noun transformed into a countable noun when used with an adjective? If it is, is it widely accepted?

    One another example taken from the New York Times.
    "I.B.M. Is Joining Metaphor To Create a New Software"

    Thank you for your time and help!

    Tak

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: software vs. a special software

    Yes, this is a style of 'journalese' and is a short form of:

    ...process it with a special kind/sort of software.

    "I.B.M. Is Joining Metaphor To Create a New Kind of Software"
    or
    "I.B.M. Is Joining Metaphor To Create a New Software Program"
    or
    "I.B.M. Is Joining Metaphor To Create a New Generation of Software."

  3. #3
    Tak is offline Newbie
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    Wink Re: software vs. a special software

    Thank you, David. I will use "software" as an uncountable until the time comes when a majority of native speakers of English say it's okay to say "a new or special software".

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