Plural of memory (as computer memory)

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Syzygys, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    How do you say:

    I bought 5 computer memory/memories? Is there a plural for the electronic part as opposed to fond resemblances?? My wife says it sounds silly, but I care about the usage, not the silliness...
     
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Which memory? Did you buy 5 RAMs?
     
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  5. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Size doesn't matter, just that I bought more than one...
     
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  7. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    WTF is a computer memory?
    You can buy a memory (RAM) chip, but since they come in different sizes which one is A memory?
    And does that mean you buy a half-memory or a double memory?
    You purchase a (nominated size) memory chip.
    E.g. I bought a 1 gig RAM chip today...
     
  8. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    That little green thingy that makes up your computer's brain by having lots of little ants doing the computing inside.

    Holy schmoly people!

    It really wasn't that difficult a question!
     
  9. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Or you could buy 2 or more, and that is what's the thread about..
     
  10. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    You bought 5 chips.
    Together they comprise the memory of your computer.
    But if you'd bought 5 larger (or smaller) they still be the memory.
    Or if you'd bought just one THAT would be the memory.

    In other words you didn't buy "a computer memory" or "computer memories", you simply bought "some (or 5) chips" or "some memory".
     
  11. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    So you CAN"T imagine a scenario when one has to use the plural of computer memories?

    Here, I will help you:

    "I make a living selling computer memories."

    You just sidestepping the issue, if you don't know the answer, fine, you don't have to post. 2 weeks ago I bought 2 laptop memories, each itself is a computer memory so together they are still memories, I guess.

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  12. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Nope: you sell chips. Memory chips.
    Or simply you sell computer memory.
    If you'd said you sell computer memories I'd wonder how you got those memories into my head, who they came from and if they were happy memories (using a decent system: UNIX) or sad (yet another frigging BSOD from a Windoze crash)...
     
  13. Delphi Registered Senior Member

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    As far as I know you can't say just "memory," you have to specify units. You could say 5 gigabytes of RAM/memory, or 5 sticks of memory (but if you say it like that, than what is their capacity?).

    I'm pretty sure it's just "I sell computer memory," (which is also how you would say it if size does not matter) not "memories." I have never seen it as "memories," ever; always in units (gigs, chips, sticks, etc.).

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  14. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Alright, so I take that the concensus is that there is no plural for it.

    Well, I sell used cars. Plural. But yes, I thought about that with certain nouns we use only the singular version.

    How about this?:

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    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
  15. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    I am also fond of this picture because it is full of memories:

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  16. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    The explanation could be that memory is the adjective and not the noun, thus yes, we pluralize the stick or chip and not the memory (because that is just the reference).
     
  17. Delphi Registered Senior Member

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    "Memories" by itself would have a different definition--a "recollection," to be exact.

    "Computer memory" is different because from what I understand it would be considered a compound noun--which is basically a word except it's ... several words.

    In modern usage--purely from personal experience--its plural has the same orthography as the singular. Which means if you keep saying "computer memories" and it catches on then you have successfully evolved te language (by giving this compound noun a [different] plural).

    And that's an awesome thing to do.
     
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Given that people use the plural for different physical kinds in different computers, but the singular for the aggregate of the same kind or in the same computer, it seems to be behaving as a "mass noun".

    Another mass noun: "grass". If you say "grasses" you are talking about different kinds - if you are talking about adding some to your yard, you talk about "rolls" (of sod) and "square yards" or "square feet" of "grass" (singular).
     
  19. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    The interesting part about the compound noun of "memory stick" or "memory chip" that it is the stick that acts like an adjective. Because if we just talk about a stick, nobody understand that it is computer related. (as opposed to salt sticks)

    So saying: "I am buying sticks" doesn't explain that one is purchasing computer parts...But "I am buying a memory" does.
     
  20. Enmos Staff Member

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    I ate a couple of salt today.
     
  21. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    12,671
    It has to do with the measurable/unmeasurable characteristic of the noun. If you can not measure it by pieces only by weight,etc. than you don't pluralize it...
     
  22. EntropyAlwaysWins TANSTAAFL. Registered Senior Member

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    The closest thing I have heard to what I think you are asking is "RAM sticks.", e.g., "I bought a couple of RAM sticks to upgrade my laptops RAM."
     
  23. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    actually your statment that: "I make a living selling computer memories."

    is wrong, it should be "I make a living selling computer memory"

    Now mouses is an interesting one because the accepted term is mouses for a computer mouse but mice when your talking about the animal
     

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