medias

Katrina11

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Hi there,
I'm in a bit of a predicament. I'm an English teacher myself and have been teaching for 20-odd years. Recently the following problem has emerged: a new teacher to the team insists that we shouldn't mark 'medias' (as in mass media etc) as a mistake when students write it in their papers. She actually teaches it. This is completely new to me but maybe usage has changed? I'm not a native but I lived and worked in Britain and Australia for many years, and I read and watch the news and lots of other things in English on a daily basis. I have not really come across 'medias' so far and it just strikes me as very odd. And even if some people do say and write 'medias', is it considered correct in an exam paper? I wonder whether other teachers around the world would mark it or not. We are preparing students for various exams, and they also have to write essays and letters, so I'm just concerned that we teach them something that's not accepted anywhere else...
Please tell me whether you'd consider it a mistake and would mark it in papers or not. Thank you very much.
 
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emsr2d2

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Usage certainly hasn't changed in the circles in which I move. It is, and has always been, the case that many people don't realise that "media" is a plural. I would mark "medias" as wrong in any situation.
 

tedmc

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I only know of "medium" as the plural of "media", though there is also "mediums". "Medias" does not exist. Haven't you checked it on the internet?
 

emsr2d2

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You've got it the wrong way round, tedmc. "Media" is the plural of "medium". I'm moving this to the "Teaching English" section, by the way.
 

jutfrank

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It sounds very wrong to me.

Have you asked her to justify this practice? How does she do so? If she's so insistent, she must have a reason.

I take it that she's not claiming that media isn't the correct plural, but that sometimes medias is appropriate, right? That sounds very hard to justify but I'd need to hear her reasoning before saying she's wrong.

As for student work, yes, I'd correct it.
 

Katrina11

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Her reasoning: It's commonly used and therefore considered correct nowadays. She's the native speaker, so she knows what's right and what isn't...
 

emsr2d2

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I disagree with her reasoning, native speaker or not.

I assume you have no control over what she teaches. However, you can control what you teach, as can your colleagues. I recommend that you stick to your guns and tell your students that, while they might see/hear "medias", they absolutely should not use it themselves. If the students of the other teacher use it in an independent exam situation and lose a mark for it, it will be their teacher's fault. At least you'll know that your students won't make the same mistake.
 

jutfrank

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Her reasoning: It's commonly used and therefore considered correct nowadays.

1) I don't think that's true.
2) It's not a good enough reason anyway, in my opinion.

She's a native-speaker, so she knows what's right and what isn't.

That's not good reasoning, either!
 

Katrina11

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She's the (only) native teacher at our school, so according to her, that gives her enough authority when it comes to usage and other language questions.
 

Tarheel

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She's the (only) native teacher at our school, so according to her, that gives her enough authority when it comes to usage and other language questions.

In that case, since I am a native speaker that makes me an authority. 1. The word media is the plural of medium. 2. The word media is often used as a collective noun. In that sense it's the media, not the medias.

There!
 

Katrina11

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Thank you so much everybody for giving me your opinions on this. At least now I know for sure that the right plural is media (as I thought all along) and that 'medias' should not be accepted. Your replies have confirmed my suspicion that it's definitely wrong. Now I just have to figure out a way to put it across to her diplomatically...
 
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