Socrates: We must not get the habit of anticipating and suspecting the meaning of one another's words
Mediums. It's not a word. Unless you're talking about multiple
energy workers of course.
But despite it being used by some really smart people in some
really intricate contexts and arguments, it still doesn't exist.
The word to describe a medium in the plural, is media.
Why shy away from the word media when trying to describe the
plurality of media (or mediums, if you insist)? It is because the
cultural connotation of media has polluted its dennotation.
'Media' now commonly refers to mass media. 'The Media' is almost
always a reference to mass media, newspapers, television, and film
as if their interests were related.
It is funny that 'media' has become a medium. It is no longer what
it is, but something else. So much so that it is necessary to
abandon the word for the sake of clarity. If you try to talk about
the various conduits we have for communication as media, it gets
muddied, confusion arises about whether the reference was to all
of the vast ways we have of communicating, or just the massively
New media, social media, mass media, corporate media, multimedia,
mixed media are all starting to bring us back to media instead of
mediums. Since media is a rather broad concept, it has been
prefixed and qualified often. So often that referring to media
alone is ambiguous and could mean any of these things if not
properly refined. But what it really means is mediums, the plural
of a medium.
Medium is no simple word to pluralise though. It has many
different facets and origins. The usage of the word medium to
describe a communications catalyst, when systems of mass
communication were being developed, was an off-shoot of the usage
as a middle or in between. And thus started to describe a separate
entity, not just a middle, but a specific kind of middle that
referred to communications technologies. And so as these
technologies multiplied, so did the new version of medium,
solidifying its identity as distinctly different from the midway
or intermediate in general.
So now we have this word media, that refers to multiple tools of
communication. But it also has come to mean mass media. So in
order to subvert the common usage and return to where a medium
diverted from simply a middle, smart people speaking to a general
audience will say mediums, and I will cringe.
Socrates: When the division of our task is concluded, let us find the point at which we digressed, and return into the old path