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Which one of these would be correct:

(XYZ offers) significantly more visibility than other

  • medium
  • mediums
  • media
  • mode (?)

of advertisements.

XYZ is a new method of advertisements, similar to TV, radio, and newspapers. How would you go about comparing it to the other methods(?) of advertisements.

I'm not using media as in "mass communication", but rather as in "medium of instruction" or "medium of travel".

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I think if you change of to suitable for carrying, your sentence might just about make sense with media, but I rather doubt that XYZ really is a new 'medium' ranking alongside TV/Press/Radio/etc. (or Watercolour/Photography/Sculpture if we loosen the definition to one not normally pluralised in that sense). – FumbleFingers Jun 16 '11 at 1:49
Mediums is the plural when it is used for an intermediate state or a person who talks to spirits. Media is the plural when talking about communication or art materials. So you want media. – Peter Shor Jun 17 '11 at 14:13
Media is for news and other mass-communication methods. This is not the intended usage as per stated. – Abhay Rana Jun 17 '11 at 17:21
@Peter Shor: I was prepared to buy into rooting mediums yesterday, and NGrams satisfied me this usage does exist. Today I also discover transmission mediums is far from unknown, but in both cases the incorrect form seems almost exclusively US, not UK. Right or wrong, though, rooting media does make me cringe. – FumbleFingers Jun 17 '11 at 18:14
@FumbleFingers: how do you decide which plural is incorrect for rooting medium and transmission medium? For the OP's question, at least, I think it's pretty clear that "TV, radio, and newspapers" should be pluralized as media. – Peter Shor Jun 17 '11 at 18:26
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I don't think the usage OP wants is supported by any words in the English Language. About the closest you can get is

(XYZ offers) significantly more visibility than other transmission modes for advertisements.

Or maybe ...than other advertisement vehicles.

XYZ isn't really a new type of 'media' like Radio, TV, Newspapers, etc. - the similarity (as implied by the target sentence), is that - like them - XYZ is capable of delivering adverts. Most likely - unlike them - carrying advertisements is its primary purpose. Mainstream English doesn't have a single word for the semantic category "method of delivering adverts".

There might be a 'trade jargon' term used within the advertising industry - but I'd advise using anything like that with caution; it may have unintended associations (as with pitch, for example).

LATER - I've now realised there's significant scope for uncertainty here because of confusion about the appropriate plural for medium in this context.

I take it for granted OP's XYZ can correctly be defined as an advertising medium, but it's my personal opinion that the correct plural for that meaning is mediums, not media. It's also my personal opinion that whichever plural form were to be used in OP's example, a significant proportion of the target audience would think it should be the other. Therefore I would avoid both.

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its actually akin to newspapers (and other methods of advertisements). I'll clear up the question a bit. – Abhay Rana Jun 16 '11 at 1:30
@Capt.Nemo: Thanks. I'll amend my answer to reflect that clarification. – FumbleFingers Jun 16 '11 at 1:52
Ngram for advertising mediums, advertising media. The predominantly used plural for this meaning is currently media. – Peter Shor Jun 17 '11 at 19:06
@Peter Shor: I'm interested to see that if we'd been considering this question 80+ years ago the relative prevalence of the two [alternatives?] would have been reversed. And I see no evidence that the earlier position was significantly affected by unusual phrasing for the 'spiritualist' sense. From which I conclude that my distaste for rooting media in particular is not just an individual quirk. – FumbleFingers Jun 17 '11 at 23:41

You probably want to use media there. It refers to all types of mass communication.

You didn't ask the obvious question, about plural forms, but here's a usage note from NOAD as a lagniappe for you:

USAGE The word media comes from the Latin plural of medium. The traditional view is that it 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: : the media have not followed the reports (rather than : has not followed). In practice, in the sense ‘television, radio, the press, and the Internet, collectively,’ media behaves as a collective noun (like staff or clergy, for example), which means that it is now acceptable in standard English for it to take either a singular or a plural verb.

EDIT The OP has edited his question, invalidating some of this response.

Also, I didn't see that there was an end to the sentence: "of advertisements." I thought it ended with "media" ...

So, I wouldn't use any of those, except possibly modes. A better word would be types or kinds.

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I find it hard to imagine exactly what XYZ might actually be, in order to drop it into OP's sentence as he requests. And even if it could fit the bill semantically, how could it be grammatical? "Other media for adverts" sounds unreal to me. – FumbleFingers Jun 16 '11 at 1:14
@FumbleFingers: It sounds OK-ish to me, but "Other advertising media" would be better. – psmears Jun 16 '11 at 8:42
@psmears: Interesting point. On reflection I think I have a problem with media because that plural form has specific associations that are close to the intended sense, but not really a good fit. On the other hand, "Other advertising mediums" (which I think would be technically/semantically spot on) raises my hackles because of unavoidable confusion about exactly what class of communication channel we're trying to pluralise in the first place. – FumbleFingers Jun 16 '11 at 15:30
@FumbleFingers: To me "advertising mediums" sounds like psychics trying to drum up more business ;-) – psmears Jun 16 '11 at 15:41
@psmears: It's true that the most common sense of mediums relates to psychics & such, but gardeners for example discuss rooting mediums, not rooting media. And that's the sense OP's example is concerned with. Media (as in mass media) is an accidental and misleading connotation that just serves to confuse the issue. – FumbleFingers Jun 16 '11 at 15:49

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