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Equipments

Equipments

Equipments

(OP)
The first time I saw equipments was on Microsoft help.  I thought it was just a typo.  When I was in school, equipment was like sheep - singular and plural were both the same.  I've worked for two British companies which use

o equipment to mean one type of equipment
o equipments to mean many types of equipment.

Someone told me it is like fish and fishes.  Is this a made up definition - I can't find it in any dictionary.

RE: Equipments

I think it's made up.  I've always considered equipment to be a mass noun, which is uncountable and should be thought of as both singular and plural.

RE: Equipments

Agreed.  Always saw it written as equipment, from single items to a fleet of trucks.

RE: Equipments

Consider the source ...

RE: Equipments

(OP)
One was a test spec, written by an engineer so I assume the engineer didn't know any better nor did his peers reviewing the document.  Maybe they didn't review it but said they did.  After all, test specs are pretty boring things to review.

The other is company wide documents about organization, departmental names etc.  Looks like they were never checked for correctness.

RE: Equipments

When I wrote "the source", I was referring to Microsoft.

RE: Equipments

Hasn't this been discussed here before?

thread1010-150012: Equipments and I thought at least one other I'd contributed to.

I've a feeling it's maybe a bit archaic but I'm hesitant to say it's explicitly wrong.

I remember 'equipments' being used a lot in the UK.  Then again I dealt with a lot of military and otherwise government documents which sometimes have a pseudo archaic feeling about them.

I'd look it up in the OED or similar source if I were you.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Equipments

(OP)
I did a search on the "Find a Forum" and "Search Posts" section at the top of the page but it didn't find anything. How did you find it?  

RE: Equipments

Use the Google search on the left.  The other one doesn't work well.

RE: Equipments

"Use the Google search on the left.  The other one doesn't work well."  

Maybe youse needs new equipments.

RE: Equipments

I feel the same about "monies".

If "monies" is the plural, what does "money" (apparently singular) refer to?  1¢?     mad  

RE: Equipments

I remember having a social studies book in elementary school called 'peoples and nations', and the use of 'peoples' bothered me, but I guess in that context it worked.  Using 'equipments' doesn't seem right to me, which is how I judge most language usage.

-Kirby

Kirby Wilkerson

Remember, first define the problem, then solve it.

RE: Equipments

As the initiator of the thread said, sheep is both singular and plural.  

So is equipment.  

So is mail, yet the world and it's granny talk about emails.

Equal rights for equal responsibilities.
Equal opportunities for equal abilities.

RE: Equipments

That would be because email serves to replace both 'mail' and 'letter'.

eg.  I went on holiday and got (a lot of email)  (200 emails).
 

RE: Equipments

If the postman delivers three envelopes to you he has delivered three items of mail, not three mails.  

Equal rights for equal responsibilities.
Equal opportunities for equal abilities.

RE: Equipments

"Three letters" was my point. Email means letter by computer, and it also means mail by computer.

"A lot of mail", "200 letters" correspond to the analogies in my previous.



 

RE: Equipments

"eg.  I went on holiday and got (a lot of email)  (200 emails)."

I went on holiday and got (a lot of email)  (200 pieces or items).

Email means electronic mail.   

Equal rights for equal responsibilities.
Equal opportunities for equal abilities.

RE: Equipments

Quote:

Email means electronic mail.

But it can be used correctly to describe a single correspondence, or a set of communications, which would be clarified in context.  It is also correctly used as "emails" to describe multiple transmissions.

"Please send me an e-mail regarding tomorrow's meeting."
(would refer to a single message)

"Hold on, let me check my e-mail."
(would refer to all messages sent/received within a defined time frame)

"I have 6 e-mails from you on October 4th, but nothing that includes your phone number."
(plural, and "e-mails" is the only correct usage of the word here)

-TJ Orlowski

RE: Equipments

Oh dear, this is really getting rather tedious.  

Never mind, I shall state the facts one last time.  


The word mail is both singular and plural, the method of despatch and delivery is irrelevant.  

The word "mails" does not exist in the English language.  That it does in your vocabulary is a different matter entirely.  


Until a few decades ago we had only the one service; conventional mail which was despatched and received by manual and mechanical means.  
And then came the advent of that more versatile tool; mail despatched and delivered by electronic means.  It was, quite reasonably, called electronic mail.  

Originally written e-mail, it was quickly, typically lazily and ungramatically reduced to email.  


If a (somewhat hapless) postman puts 200 envelopes through my letter-box he hasn't delivered 200 conventional mails, 200 mails or "lots of" mails.  He has delivered 200 items, or pieces, of mail, or "lots of" mail.  (Read again the third line of this post if you are still uncertain of this.)   

By exactly the same rules of the English language, 200 messages sent or received by electronic means are not 200 electronic mails, 200 emails or "lots of" emails, they are 200 items of electronic mail, 200 items of email or "lots of" email.  (Read again the third line of this post if you are STILL uncertain.)  

That mail may be despatched and/or received by electronic means does not alter the English language and it does neither you or anyone else any credit for arguing that it does.  

There is no precedence for the "pluralisation" of the word mail, be it of the conventional, electronic or any other conveivable variety.  Except, of course, for ignorance or the unwillingness to be corrected.  

I will leave you all to your muddled thinking.   

Equal rights for equal responsibilities.
Equal opportunities for equal abilities.

RE: Equipments

at least it's not being spelled equiptment...

RE: Equipments

Equipments is in my Open Office Writer and Yahoo Mail spell check dictionaries as a correct spelling. This is a problem with using these forms of spelling checks, you are relying on them to have inputted the information correctly. I would look into changing their dictionaries on my computer, but is would probability change back during any update.

Garth Dreger PE
AZ Phoenix area

RE: Equipments

Ok, just checked a few available sources, so as to be sure that my muddled mind was not legitimizing modern jargon in any uncouth manner.

Wiktionary - emails is ok as a plural count noun, ie 200 emails, informal use.
Merriam-Webster - no comment on plural form.
Answers.com - ditto Wiktionary.
Two random blogs from business writers also indicated that emails was appropriate in informal use.

I, unfortunately, do not have subscription to the OED, but noted from the website that a new version is about to be rolled out, incorporating many new words.  New words, now there is an interesting concept.  It turns out that our language is not completely defined, and furthermore, it changes and evolves.  We get new words coined and adopted by the masses, who take the liberty of using the new word, freshly minted, in ways that suit the application for which it was defined, then when the technology changes, people start to use those words in different ways.  I guess this is what makes language such an interesting subject.

I could go on but I do not wish to be tedious.


 

RE: Equipments

Syncopator:

Quote:

"I have 6 e-mails from you on October 4th, but nothing that includes your phone number."

Your assertion then, is that you would leave off the "s" in e-mail in the above conversation?  Say that aloud and see if it passes the smell test.

Yes, e-mail is the abbreviation of electronic mail.  But electronic mail is only electronic mail: it can be text, HTML, with or without attachments, but it's all digital correspondence.  We have not needed to differentiate between the types.  With snail mail, there are letters, packages, parcels, postcards, magazines, newspapers, bulletins, etc etc.  There's a need to differentiate.

*****New words are not required to be used in the exact manner as the word(s) from which they are derived.*****  To assert otherwise is, as you so eloquently put: ignorant.

On a Monday morning, after turning on your workstation, you would not exclaim aloud to the office, "My goodness!  I received three-hundred and twelve e-mail over the weekend!"

Give me a break.

-TJ Orlowski

RE: Equipments

I completely agree with using "e-mails", but to be fair in the example you just gave:

Quote:

"My goodness!  I received three-hundred and twelve e-mail over the weekend!"

It wouldn't sound right to talk about regular mail that way either. "My goodness!  I received three-hundred and twelve mail over the weekend!" I seems to only be referred to as mail when it is a non-definitive amount.

ie. "My goodness!  I received heaps of mail over the weekend!"

In this situation using e-mail actually doesn't sound so bad.  

RE: Equipments

We're not talking about regular mail.

Quote:

New words are not required to be used in the exact manner as the word(s) from which they are derived.

It's a matter of vernacular.  E-mail is not used the same way mail is, even though e-mail is derived from the word mail.

-TJ Orlowski

RE: Equipments

I agree completely, I am merely saying that the example you gave doesn't really seem to show anything, as neither the singular of mail or e-mail works in that case.

The argument is that you use them in the same way because e-mail is a derivative of mail. An example in which neither of these suits just seems irrelevant, as it only works with the plural of e-mail or the plural of different types of mail as you said.

It does seem odd that mail is an irregular plural and e-mail became a regular plural though.

RE: Equipments

Do equipments go in an equipments room, equipments rooms, or an equipment room? Just need to expand my knowledges, peeps.

RE: Equipments

Depends if the equipments room is in the Ministry of Works, or not.

RE: Equipments

I always had a problem with rock.  A single rock is 1 rock.  If there is 5, it is refered to as 5 rocks.  But if it is in the back of a truck it is a load of rock, not a load of rocks. What a crock!!!

RE: Equipments

In the UK the police use a phrase "person or persons unknown" - I'm don't know any other phrase which uses the word persons rather than people.

RE: Equipments

Quote:

I agree completely, I am merely saying that the example you gave doesn't really seem to show anything, as neither the singular of mail or e-mail works in that case.  The argument is that you use them in the same way because e-mail is a derivative of mail. An example in which neither of these suits just seems irrelevant, as it only works with the plural of e-mail or the plural of different types of mail as you said.It does seem odd that mail is an irregular plural and e-mail became a regular plural though.

Back to this, and just to clarify I think we're both in agreement about all aspects of this discussion.

E-mail would be the proper term when dealing with an indefinite amount, as in the example Jimwahhh gave, but only if e-mail were the object of a preposition.  E-mails would be the proper term when dealing with a definite, plural amount.

When dealing with definite, plural amounts, we use mail as the object of a preposition.  E.g. Receiving heaps of mail.  

If we used e-mail the same way, which we usually don't, we would have to use it the same way.  E-mail is usually the subject, with no modification.

-TJ Orlowski

RE: Equipments

I vote for emails in informal writing only, as noted in the Wiktionary citation above.  I'd never write that in a report or an article, though.

"I received 200 email messages this morning" would be the correct usage in my opinion, or "I received 200 messages via email yesterday."

It'll be interesting to see what the OED and Webster adopt.

Good on y'all,

Goober Dave

RE: Equipments

DRWeig:

In the examples you gave, email is an adjective, and then an object of a preposition.

If the point is that e-mail can't be used as a standalone noun when dealing with definite plural amounts, that's one thing.  I beg to differ with that assertion.

-TJ Orlowski

RE: Equipments

TJ,

I agree that I've used it as an adjective and in a prepositional phrase in my examples. I avoid its use as a noun representing a missive in anything formal that I write. I just personally hesitate to bring words originating in the realm of jargon into my formal or otherwise published work.

I'm sure I'll relent as the years pass (if I live many more years). For now, I'm sticking with the "informal-only" use of email as noun representing a message.  To me, email represents a medium of transmission, an aggregation of software and hardware, a part of a network system.

Here's an illustration using a different term: I can recieve a network alert, or an alert via the network, but I can't receive a network (unless the IT guys bring a router, some PCs, and some cable to my office).

That's where I'm coming from -- but I'm an old fogey, so give me some latitude!  It's perfectly fine to disagree. I would just advise caution.  There are 6 billion of us out here. I don't think I'm the only one who would view the informal usage as a detriment in formal communication.

Note that I, too, will variously use email as described above in conversation, when referring to the message itself. But I won't do that when presenting a forensics report to the board of directors.

This has been a most interesting discussion!

Good on ya,

Goober Dave

RE: Equipments

Dave,
   Forgive me if I'm coming across as combative, it is often difficult to project tone in the written word.

   I did not have the impression that the OP was only asking about formal communications, nor did I think the segway (or derail, if you prefer) into e-mail was only dealing with formal communications.  I had the impression Syncopator was asserting that emails was incorrect in any context.  

   All of my examples dealt with informal communication, or day-to-day dialogue.  To be honest, it hadn't occurred to me that using e-mail as a noun representing a missive would be considered colloquial.  I'm young and inexperienced, give me some latitude :)

-TJ Orlowski

RE: Equipments

Perfect, TJ!

It's a debate, after all, eh?

When you get down to it, language is an art and eng-tips members are (for the greatest part) more inclined to the sciences (me included).

Good on ya,

Goober Dave

RE: Equipments

About Microsoft
Microsoft's spell and grammar check functions are not vetted.  No information from Microsoft is vetted, actually. It's all a bunch of guesses (and they really don't care that users know its bogus).  Just look up the problems with Excel online.  They don't even get calculations correct.  It's so bad that ISO and the FDA do not allow the use of Excel calculations without separate validation.

As best as I can tell, Microsoft's grammar rules are haphazardly added to their grammar check...and there is very little adjustability to it (the grammar settings are far to broad to be of any use in many cases).  Many of the rules are just plan outdated, or even worse, some of the rules are only applied by the geekiest of English Lit geeks.  

Their spell checker is also just as bad.  Where several correct spellings of a particular word exists, you'll often find only one choice in the speller "dictionary".

There are a lot of mistakes in the functionality of their software.  It doesn't surprize me that their are mistakes in the documentation.


About emails
Speaking of geeking out on words. ;)  English in America is owned by the people.  There's no official version of it (which is one reason it would be impossible to make it the official language of the land...also, reedom of speach technically forbids any official version from being mandated too.)

There are many contractions that eventually turn into their own words.  Another recent example is "prolly" (also spelled "proly").

It's email for singular form and for a plural form.  "There's a lot of email in my inbox" is just as exceptable as "There are a lot of emails in my inbox".  Another word where you see this is "fish", where both "fishes" and "fish" are used as plural form.

That said, I've never heard anyone speak the word "equipments" in my life.  I do hear "material" and "materials" used interchangably.  

The english language doesn't sit still for anyone.  We are all collectively setting and changing the rules, literally as we speak. :)

Matt Lorono
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources & SolidWorks Legion

&

RE: Equipments

I think "truthiness" may be an example. Truth or truths may be debatable as to appplication of the singular or plural; truthinesses may be a debate for a later generation.

RE: Equipments

fcsuper,

Let's keep Star Trek out of this...:)

tg

RE: Equipments

If equipments is used as a singular to represent a group of equipment items, then if you had more than one set of equipments, would the plural be equipmentses?  

RE: Equipments

I think that's kind of like dividing by zero linguistically isn't it?

RE: Equipments

There's an infinite way of looking at dividing by zero.

RE: Equipments

I got weary reading this thread, so maybe some person(s) has already suggested this.

What about writing 50 e-mail, or 50 emails, as a compromise?

Who really decides when a word is a real word anyway?

Since it's really an abbreviation, do the common laws of grammar have to apply at all?
So, do we say 50 VIP's or 50 VIP?

Anyway, I better go and check my females.

RE: Equipments

Regarding the OP and sources.  The public radio program A Way With Words may be a good source for questions regarding word use.  They also have a forum and an "Ask a Question" section.

Cooperjer
Mechanical Engineer

RE: Equipments

1) Email is its own word now.  Since it is a noun, you can pluralize it freely.  I use emails, same as the words letter and letters for indivdiual pieces of mail.

2) We all do, collectively.  English on other side of the pond is not govern by any particular laws (for the most part).

3) Just my own experience: I used to abbreviate purals of acronyms and abbreviation with the apostrophe s ('s).  I stopped that awhile and just use a lowercase s now.  Examples: BOMs ECOs

 

Matt Lorono
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources & SolidWorks Legion

&

RE: Equipments

OP.  Just use equipment, unless you enjoy the controversy.

BTW...I used to dump Syncopator's books in grade school.

RE: Equipments

Most Internet help originate from Asia and Microsoft help is probably no exception.  

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