the central meaning of "album"

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optimistic pessimist

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Dear all,
When you hear the word "an album", what do you think of first?I learned an album normally means "a phto album" back in school, but later I realized it also means "a recorded album" and that this seems more popular.Also, is there any British/American differences in term of the use of this word?

Thank you!
OP
 
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emsr2d2

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Dear all,When you hear the word "an album", what do you think of first?I learned an album normally means "a phto album" back in school, but later I realized it also means "a recorded album" and that this seems more popular.Also, is there any British/American differences in term of the use of this word?Thank you!OP

To me, my immediate reaction would be the musical kind - either on vinyl or on CD.

If someone meant a photo album, I would expect them to specify that.
 

leonwool

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An album is a collection of things. The things are put into an album for display or to listen to. For me all these albums that you mention are the same album that I learnt as a kid. I had a stamp album, a photo album some recorded music albums ....
 

Barb_D

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If I heard "an album" without any context at all, my first thought would be of the musical kind.
 

Raymott

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Dear all,When you hear the word "an album", what do you think of first?I learned an album normally means "a phto album" back in school, but later I realized it also means "a recorded album" and that this seems more popular.Also, is there any British/American differences in term of the use of this word?Thank you!OP
These days, I'd think of music. Forty years ago, I'd think of a stamp album or photo album.
Another related term that has changed in that time is "artist", which, forty years ago, almost invariably meant a painter. What we now call an artist was called a singer back then.
 

BobK

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These days, I'd think of music. Forty years ago, I'd think of a stamp album or photo album...

:up: The idea of its referring to the collection (of musical tracks) rather than the receptacle that holds the collection struck me as odd at first. I knew (even at the tender age when I collected stamps) that an album's were white (Latin albus -a -um)). As an altar boy, I knew that a priest's white robe was called an 'alb'.

Come to think of it, I wonder if the Beatles' White Album was some closet Classicist's quiet joke ;-)

b

PS Your words 'central meaning' are strange ... perhaps 'fluid' would be more what I mean. As you've seen from the answers, a meaning that's 'central' to one person is less central to another; it's not a question of who's 'right'. And even with one person, different sorts of meaning become more and less central, depending on that person's environment.
 
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BobK

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PPS I hope I didn't give the impression that the Latin root should somehow set the meaning in stone; it's just interesting (to a few of us ;-))

b
 
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