A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 29, 2012
“‘Media’ is the plural of ‘mediocre‘“

New York City newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin (1930-2017) has often remarked that “‘media’ is the plural of ‘mediocre’” (first cited by Breslin in print in 1978 or 1980). Breslin didn’t think too highly of how the media report stories.

However, “This may explain why the Mayor of New York, kidding some reporters said media is the Latin plural for mediocre“ was printed in The Colorado County Citizen (Columbus, TX) on November 13, 1976.

“Media” is a plural of “medium,” and these words and the word “mediocre” all derive from the Latin medius (middle). Breslin’s remark is still often quoted.


Wikipedia: Jimmy Breslin
James Earle “Jimmy” Breslin (October 17, 1928 – March 19, 2017) was an American journalist and author. Until the time of his death, he wrote a column for the New York Daily News Sunday edition. He wrote numerous novels, and columns of his appeared regularly in various newspapers in his hometown of New York City. He served as a regular columnist for the Long Island newspaper Newsday until his retirement on November 2, 2004, though he still published occasional pieces for the paper. He was known for his newspaper columns which offered a sympathetic viewpoint of the working class people of New York City, and was awarded the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary “for columns which consistently champion ordinary citizens”.

11 November 1976, The Colorado County Citizen (Columbus, TX), “Skull Creek Philosopher: Philosopher’s Election Notes” by J. A., pg. 8, col. 7:
This may explain why the Mayor of New York, kidding some reporters said media is the Latin plural for mediocre.

24 June 1980, Philadelphia (PA) Daily News, “Basic Political Advice” by Jimmy Breslin, pg. 21, col. 2:
The newspapers always refer to Garth as a media wizard. The word “media” is the plural of mediocre.

17 July 1980, The Stars and Stripes (Darmstadt, Hesse), Jimmy Breslin column, pg. 18, col. 3:
The newspapers always refer to Garth as a media wizard. The word “media” is the plural of mediocre.

Google News Archive
24 July 1984, Lawrence (KS) Journal-World, “Hustlers with razor blades on the elbows have tendency to move along in a crowd” by William Safire, pg. 5A, col. 5:
“He (Mario Cuomo—ed.) was instructed by the eminent grammarian Jimmy Breslin, who said with Breslinesque certitude, ‘Listen, Mario, media is the plural of mediocre!’”

New York (NY) Times
PRESS VS. PALACE: AQUINO WIELDS A SWORD
By SETH MYDANS, Special to the New York Times
Published: January 22, 1987
The word “media,” a spokesman for President Corazon C. Aquino said in the early days of her Government, is the plural for “mediocre.”

13 October 1988, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “A New Set of Planes For a Master of Air‎” by Jimmy Breslin, pg. 2:
His instinct appears to tell him that people crumble quickly at the first show of bravado, particularly members of the media, which is the plural of mediocre.

28 April 1991, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “Queens Boulevard Has a Question” by Jimmy Breslin, pg. 5: ‎
Many on Queens Boulevard are angry and distracted because of the way the news media - they regard media as the plural of mediocre - have again called it a street of invincible dishonesty.

Google Books
The Executive’s Book of Quotations
Edited by Julia Vitullo-Martin and J. Robert Moskin
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1994
Pg. 181:
“Listen, Mario, media is the plural of mediocre.”
JIMMY BRESLIN, columnist, to New York Governor Mario Cuomo (This is incorrect. Cuomo was lieutenant governor from January 1, 1979, and then governor from January 1, 1983-December 21, 1994—ed.)
(interview, 1978)

Google Books
Beyond Malice:
The Media’s Years of Reckoning

By Richard M. Clurman
New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers
2011
Pg. 13:
(Comedian Fred Allen cracked that television was called a “medium because it was seldom well done” and columnist Jimmy Breslin added that “media is the plural of mediocre.”)

Google Books
The 2,548 Wittiest Things Anybody Ever Said
By Robert Byrne
New York, NY: Touchstone
2012
2.346
Media is the plural of mediocrity.—Jimmy Breslin

Oxford Dictionaries
What is the plural of media?
Author Catherine Soanes
Catherine Soanes is an ex-lexicographer and EFL teacher.
Published February 25 / 2016
Media began its linguistic life as the Latin plural of medium. The latter entered English in the late 16th century and developed as a countable noun with a range of meanings. So what then, is the plural of media? Just as happens with many other Latin words which are now established in English (such as aquarium and optimum), it turns out that the accepted plurals are both media and mediums.

Some grammatical traditionalists believe that media (like data) should therefore be treated as a plural noun in all its senses in English and be used with a plural rather than a singular verb: ...

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Saturday, September 29, 2012 • Permalink


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Posted by Best Essays  on  09/30  at  11:56 PM

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