Language question: Why has "vinyls" become a word?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by TMegginson, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. TMegginson

    TMegginson Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ottawa
    The brand is back. They make really crappy portable record players.
     
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  2. Greg Gee

    Greg Gee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Technically, lp, short for long player, came about as a result of the change from 78 rpm playing speed to 33 1/3 rpm playing speed on 12" records, resulting in a longer playing record. It is not a representation of size. Because 78s were phased out, people not familiar with them made the wrong assumption that lp applied to the size of the record.
     
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  3. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pontotoc, MS
    I suppose whenever I buy a case of wine or a six-pack of beer, I could say, “I bought some alcohols today,” and someone might well say that in an ironic hipster sense, much as “vinyls” has entered the language, but it jars the ear in a way that “I bought alcohol” or “I bought some alcohol” doesn’t. When we use “alcohol” as a catch-all term for the wide variety of beverages that contain alcohol - beer, wine, vodka, etc. - we don’t need to add an “s” to it in order to make it plural, the plurality is already implicit in the use of the general substance common to all these drinks as a substitute for specifically naming them. The same holds true of “vinyl” as a catch-all term or short-hand for vinyl records. Likewise, someone who is a vegetarian would simply say “I don’t eat meat,” not “I don’t eat meats.”
     
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  4. TMegginson

    TMegginson Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ottawa
    Good point. I have a 1950 10" of Wagner from Columbia on the new "LP" format.
     
  5. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    Location:
    United States
    The fact is that in some U.S. cultures, that's exactly what they do. If you were to say that to me, I would guess that you are from some eastern or southern part of the country.
     
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  6. TMegginson

    TMegginson Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ottawa
    In Canada "beers" is common colloquial English. We usually drop it ironically, because it's considered kind of hoser, but it's definitely in our language.
     
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  7. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    Location:
    United States
    Specialized professions have always had their own vernacular or slang. It's because they tend toward shorthand speech because what they are talking about is already understood.
     
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  8. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pontotoc, MS
    While “linens” is a good example of something like “vinyls” becoming fully accepted, “I put on my leathers” sounds awkward and wrong to me, just as “vinyls” does. Perhaps it’s a British usage, but I’ve never heard an American say that.

    That “glass” has become a noun meaning “cup” doesn’t mean that “People who live in glasses houses shouldn’t throw stones” is a correct English sentence.
     
  9. lc1995

    lc1995 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    This is such a boomer thing to complain about

    It's really not that crazy, it's just "vinyl" being used as a noun
     
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  10. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    Location:
    United States
    There are good points being made on both sides of this debate. I guess i'm being swayed by those who don't think using "vinyls" is such a big deal. But, it still grates on my nerves when I see or hear it. It still sounds wrong, and it is. This is one word that should not be allowed to morph into legitimate usage.
     
  11. TMegginson

    TMegginson Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ottawa
    It is British, just as "Linens" is American. Isn't English diversity awesomesauce?
     
  12. TMegginson

    TMegginson Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ottawa
    Too late, my friend. It's already established. I just wanted to know how that happened.
     
  13. thrivingonariff

    thrivingonariff Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Your hypothetical examples of silly plurals have no bearing on the argument, nor do they refute what I've said. "Vinyls" is a count noun, and the phenomenon that it represents is a not-unusual feature of the English language, like it or not.
     
  14. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    Location:
    United States
    I agree. It's just as wrong as the example of Ebonics that was used in regard to "aks".
     
  15. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Because The DiVinyls say so. :targettiphat:
     
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  16. Crimson jon

    Crimson jon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston
    Spelling bee style
    Please use it in a sentence...

    My dad used to play these large black discs on a vinyls machine when I was a child.


    "Country of origin?"
    Millenial Amurica

    Vinyls
    V-I-N-I-L-S
    Vinyls

    "That is incorrect "
     
  17. ostrichfarm

    ostrichfarm Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    I was literally just coming here to post that!
     
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  18. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    Location:
    United States
    I think the bottom line is that the English language is extremely complicated with far too many rules. Perhaps an effort is being made to simplify it, and making "vinyl" a plural is part of it.
     
  19. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pontotoc, MS
    In America, people absolutely say “I drank two beers at the bar,” but when using “beer” in the abstract sense, as “vinyl” is being used to stand in for “records,” no one would say “I like beers.” “I like beer” is correct and standard. Likewise no English speaker would say “Vodkas are the national drink of Russia.” “Vodka is the national drink of Russia” is natural and correct. When you use a word like “alcohol,” “vinyl,” “beer,” or “vodka” in an abstract sense to stand for all the things made from that substance, or for all the varieties of that substance, you don’t add an “s” to it in order to make it plural. It’s already plural. As shorthand for “Mary drank two bottles of champagne and three shots of Goldschläger at the wedding reception,” no one says “Mary drank too many alcohols at the wedding reception.” Instead, someone might say “Mary drank too much alcohol at the wedding reception.” Or simply “Mary drank too much.” But not “Mary drank too many alcohols.”
     
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  20. TMegginson

    TMegginson Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ottawa
    When I hear people say "vinyls," they are talking about multiple, countable, records.
     
  21. DeRosa

    DeRosa Forum Resident

    you should read what i wrote more carefully.
     
  22. Matthew

    Matthew Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jammin' at Sun
    Kinda like how the plural for Lego is... Lego, and not "Legos" (which elicits a similar nails-down-blackboard wince in me as does "vinyls"):

    [​IMG]

    :cool:

    Now excuse me while I go find a cloud to yell at!
     
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  23. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pontotoc, MS
    What is a “count noun”?

    Would you say “The miners excavated two tons coals”? No, you would say “the miners excavated two tons of coal.”

    As a shorthand for “I drove across two bridges to get to the cabin,” would you say “I drove across two steels (or two concretes) to get to the cabin”?
     
  24. DeRosa

    DeRosa Forum Resident

    It's not even as simple as vinyl being either singular or plural.
    In the U.K. they say "Maths", and in North America we just say "Math".
     
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  25. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pontotoc, MS
    Which is like a little girl saying “I got three plastics for Christmas” to describe receiving three Barbie dolls for Christmas.
     

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