Plural of memory (as computer memory)

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

  1. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    You bought 5 SIMMs.
     
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  3. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    In the SIMM acronym as mentioned earlier the word memory is the adjective.

    -Single
    -In-line
    -Memory

    All adjectives describing the noun coming at the end: Modul

    Now if I say I bought moduls, that doesn't explain correctly what kind of moduls I am talking about. Anyhow, that is why memory doesn't get the plural, because it is the adjective of the expression/acronym.
     
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  5. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    That would be why SIMM is used, rather than module.
    SIMM is what they are called...

    "I bought 5 SIMMs today".
    "I fitted my new SIMMs".
     
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  7. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Only problem that 99% of the people don't know what SIMM is.

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  8. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    The same way 99% of people didn't know what "mouse" was until they too bought a computer...
    This is how "obscure" words filter into usage: through familiarity and common need.
    Before cars became commonplace how many people knew what "crankshaft" was?
    How many people still, today, would just nod their head knowingly without actually understanding if you said "I reset the timing"?
    They know it's something to do with the car and how it works (especially from context), but the actual details don't matter to the conversation.

    "I bought and fitted some memory for my computer"
    General response: "Yeah? What's on the TV tonight?".

    Contrasted with:
    "I bought and fitted some SIMMs for my computer" = "I did something (presumably good since you actually paid for it)
    General response: "Yeah? What's on the TV tonight?".

    :shrug:

    Of course, that's the general response.
    Talk to a real geek and it would be:

    "I bought and fitted some SIMMs"
    "What sort? Did you check the speed? You mean you haven't already got 50 Gig of RAM? Pfft my little sister's bit-box has more than that..."
     
  9. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    You can have the last word although you didn't contribute too much to the discussion.

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  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I think he should at least be a good sport and tell us how that odd Welsh name is pronounced. Dyoo-ee-theer?
     
  11. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    SIMMs have been obsolete for years though. It's been DIMMs since the advent of SDRAM.
     
  12. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Not?
    I did point why the term "memories" wasn't valid.

    Tee oo ith eer.
    (It's not quite Welsh - the name itself, anyway).

    Meh, okay so it's a while since I was geek enough to build (or even chop) my own PC...
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    It's Welsh spelling and the way you pronounce it conforms to Welsh phonetics. You're going to have to tell more.

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  14. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    And confirm my dumbness?

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    It's an invented name for a book/ background for a long-running game. I'd just finished reading the Mabinogion and bought a "Teach Yourself Welsh" book* and decided to use the parts of the mythology contained therein as a base, simply to make a change from the Greek/ Norse mythology - something different for the hell of it.
    My pronunciation of the initial D as T is simply due to the fact that I left the project for a long while and only half-remembered how it should sound. (Although my "excuse" is that what is used as Welsh is a slightly corrupted version of the original language).


    * Mainly because at the time of reading the Mabinogion I had no clue at all how to pronounce Llew Llaw Gyffes (among others).

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  15. temur man of no words Registered Senior Member

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    I guess it is like water, you would not say "I sell waters".
     
  16. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    * * * * NOTE FROM THE MODERATOR * * * *

    Sorry, I completely messed up your post somehow. I wasn't even trying to quote your post, guess I'm not as skillful with this software as I thought.

    You were responding to Temur but I managed to accidentally erase everything.

    Sorry!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2009
  17. temur man of no words Registered Senior Member

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    grasses and sands are too

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  18. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    No they aren't.
    The chips (DIMMs) are countable but the "memory of the computer" isn't.
    Unless some computers have half a memory, some have two, etc etc.
     
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    As I've noted elsewhere, sometimes we do say just that. Uncountable nouns are often used as a shorthand for kinds, brands, etc., of the commodity in question. "You can find foods from almost every country in Washington." "The gourmet supermarket carries all the popular bottled waters." "I need a darker clay in my porcelain." "Bermuda is a very hardy grass."
    "Memory" has two related but different meanings: one countable, one not. "I have memories from my early childhood," but "Good memory is only one of the qualities of a successful student." One kind of memory is an ability, the other kind is an artifact of that ability.

    "Love" has the same dichotomy. "Love makes the world go 'round," but "I've had many loves in my life but Shakira was the most memorable."
    This use of "memory" is countable. "I got the two memories that (not what) I bought on eBay (not Ebay)."
     
  20. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    I explained earlier (yes, occassionally you should read the thread) in this expression memory is an adjective (or at least that is its part/meaning describing the noun after it)), not a noun, so the noun part gets pluralized, which is chip or modul. As Delphi pointed out, the case of a compound noun.

    Now if we agree that memory chip can be shortened to memory (and I don't see why not) then you are correct and memory can have a plural in the form of memories...
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I read the whole thread.
    I don't know if grammarians have kept up with the evolution of English into a more analytic language than most of the Indo-European family. In a compound noun like "memory chip," "salt water taffy" or "space shuttle communication headquarters," all words are nouns and none is an adjective.
    We've been talking about "memories" in the plural since the days of mainframes, when they weren't small enough to fit on a keychain. I have many fond memories of that era.

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

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    I just saw the plural for Treasury is Treasurys, so we could call it memorys...

    I think I mixed it up with English compound, where there are several versions, adjective+noun, verb+verb

    Anyhow, my point was that only the last word gets pluralized...And when you pluralize one of the words refering to the last word, it causes confusion. Or actually, you can not do that...
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  23. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, not:

    "Compound nouns

    Most English compound nouns are noun phrases (= nominal phrases) that include a noun modified by adjectives or attributive nouns. "

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_compound
     

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