Data or Datas?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by aigle491, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. aigle491 Member

    USA English, Russian
    Is the plural of the word data...datas? Or is the plural of

    Is it the same or does it change?
  2. modgirl Senior Member

    USA English, French, Russian
    Data is the plural form of datum. However, although controversial, data is becoming acceptable as both singular and plural.
  3. Artrella Banned


    Hi Aigle!! :p According to the dictionary it is DATA in plural and DATUM in singular.
  4. Artrella Banned


    ORIGIN mid 17th cent. (as a term in philosophy): from Latin, plural of DATUM.

    USAGE: In Latin, data is the plural of datum and, historically and in specialized scientific fields, it is also treated as a plural in English, taking a plural verb, as in the data were collected and classified. In modern non-scientific use, however, despite the complaints of traditionalists, it is often not treated as a plural. Instead, it is treated as a mass noun, similar to a word like information, which cannot normally have a plural and which takes a singular verb. Sentences such as data was (as well as data were) collected over a number of years are now widely accepted in standard English.

    Source: Oxford Dictionary
  5. Rob625

    Rob625 Senior Member

    Murlo (SI)
    English - England
    Originally, the word "data" is the plural of the Latin word datum, which means "that which is given". When it first came into English, it was treated as plural: "the data are not sufficient to solve the problem." Nowadays, we treat it as an uncountable. This means that it is singular, and cannot have a plural. So we can say "the data is read by the program."

    If you have some data in one file and then some more in another, that is not :cross: two data or :cross: two datas; it is just data.

    Another example of an uncountable word is "furniture". There is no plural.
  6. Artrella Banned

    Rob, does the same happen to "media", doesn't it? Or it has to be always in the plural? :p
  7. modgirl Senior Member

    USA English, French, Russian
    Hi Rob, in some scientific circles, it's still data and datum, but I do think that for the general population, you're right: data is treated as an uncountable (singular) word.

    Artrella, I've always heard media is the same way: singular. However, I've also noticed that many British people use it in the plural. Webster's New World College Dictionary (American), which the Associated Press uses, says that media usually takes a singular verb.
  8. ofelia dimaano New Member

    could you pls update me.
    i think i have read a book, published by reputable publication in the US where they've mentioned the word 'datas'
    is this correct. we used to 'data' as plural.
  9. Definitely still data and datum. My professors would kill me if I said datas or said data for a singular datum. They always say before writing lab reports, it's datum and data, spectrum and spectra and always have that in bold.

    And media is the plural of medium. I think that's more prevalent in art. What medium are you using for this picture? Or What media do you have at your disposal?

    Data is treated as singular in the general population as singular, but it technically isn't correct. But datas is an even worse error. In my opinion
  10. hello

    May be the plural is data and the singular could be "a piece of information", but I leave the last word for english natives.
    I think is correct to say "last word".
    Please correct my english and thanks in advance.
  11. Victoria32

    Victoria32 Senior Member

    New Zealand
    English (UK) New Zealand
    The singular is the word 'datum', and so data is already a plural word...


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