Plural of timing

musicgold

Senior Member
Tutsi
Hi,


I am not sure if I can use the word ‘timings’ as the plural of ‘timing’ in the following sentence. There are multiple projects and each project comes on stream at a specific time.

1. The weak profits is a result of the timings of new projects coming on stream.


Thanks,

MG.
 
  • Aud Duck

    Senior Member
    English--United States
    You'll want to wait for other opinions, but I personally wouldn't use the 's.'

    The weak profits are a result of the timing of new projects coming on stream.
     

    musicgold

    Senior Member
    Tutsi
    Thanks Aud Duck.

    How would you write something like this? Would you still use 'timing' instead of 'timings'?

    2. The timings of the two events are not syncronized.
     

    musicgold

    Senior Member
    Tutsi
    Let say, Event A occurs after every three months, Event B occurs after every five months. They are not syncronized
     

    musicgold

    Senior Member
    Tutsi
    Aud Duck,

    Thanks. Maybe I have a conceptual block that needs to be cleared.

    When I see 'timing of something', I tend to think of a duration when 'one thing happens'

    It seems for you 'timing of something' can either mean 'a duration when one thing happens' or 'multiple durations when multiple things happen'

    Am I correct in my interpretation?
     

    Aud Duck

    Senior Member
    English--United States
    Thanks for explaining so clearly. I think that will help me explain a little better. Timing is not a duration. It your choice of when to do something. Here is the Word Reference dictionary's definition:

    http://www.wordreference.com/definition/timing

    So, timing is not a continuous event. It's a decision that you make. You can make a single decision about when to hold two different events. For example, you might decided to hold them one right after the other, so that people could attend both. In that case, it would be one decision, but would apply to two different events.

    I hope that helps, rather than making things yet more confusing.
     
    Last edited:

    Aud Duck

    Senior Member
    English--United States
    Sorry I misunderstood. The places where you would use a plural of "timing" are very limited. For example, if you were having a meeting where you were going to discuss 10 different, unrelated events and when to hold them, you would still say "We will discuss the timing of many upcoming events." I still wouldn't use a plural.

    I did a google search to see if there were any situations where you can use "timing" in the plural. When I searched for "timings" and "events," all I got was pages which had both words, but not in the same sentence.

    I did find several uses of the word "timings" from websites originating in India. However, the usage is slightly different from what you're looking for. It seemed to me to be used as a substitute for what, in American English, would be "times" (movie times, train times, etc.)

    I did find a couple of usages on American websites, but they were all related to computers. For example:

    "The easiest way to set the slide timings is to rehearse and time your PowerPoint presentation by progressing through the slides as if you were seeing them for the first time." (From about.com)

    "Memory timings (or RAM timings) refer collectively to a set of four numerical parameters called CL, tRCD, tRP, and tRAS, commonly represented as a series of four numbers separated with dashes, in that respective order (e.g. 5-5-5-15)." (From Wikipedia)

    I found one instance of the usage you're looking for, on a British website:

    "Alternatively they [speeches] can be after the starter, but some caterers may find this inconvenient for timings of a hot main course."

    So, my overall verdict is, it can be done, but it isn't a usage that's particularly common. When in doubt, I'd say it's safer to go with the singular.

    I hope that helps.
     
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