After this similar post, I have another question regarding the use of the word 'media.'

I recently saw the phrase, "... it was a good general point about representation and how some medias seem to be handling it."

This doesn't seem right to me, and it very likely is answered in the correct answer to this question. The slight difference here is that this author is referring not to the media as a collection of all media, but select 'medias,' such as television, movies, and comic books and how they handle minorities. It is not referring to media as a whole.

Is it correct, in this rare instance of singling out several, to use medias?

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    "some of the media". The word is essentially a mass noun in English. So if you want to point out not all of it but only some, use 'some of it'. – Mitch Mar 16 '16 at 18:12
  • I've heard "mediums" a few times, but never "medias". Edit: And apparently Google Ngrams agrees with me. – Ajedi32 Mar 16 '16 at 21:27
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    Some of those "mediums" on the Ngram might be T-shirts. – Steven Littman Mar 17 '16 at 0:52

In the rare cases where the word 'media' is not being used as a collective noun (making it unpluralizable) media is the plural of medium and therefore already plural. If you wanted to single out television, for example, as opposed to other media, you would call television 'a medium'.

The phrase you saw is wrong. The correct phrase is:

"... it was a good general point about representation and how some media seem to be handling it."

Or to be more explicit...

"One medium handled the situation well, but other media were less good."

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    Collective nouns are often pluralised. Further explanation is required. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 16 '16 at 17:45
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    "one medium" seems to me to mean a different thing from what we could call "one media group." An example of a "medium" is "print." An example of a "media group" is the New York Times. The original example seems to be talking about media groups, not about mediums. Maybe I've just made up this distinction, but I would not call a single newspaper a "medium." – herisson Mar 16 '16 at 17:52
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    I agree with @sumelic. This answer is partly out of date, and partly plain wrong. In the twenty-first century, "medium" and "media" have largely parted company, and only in a limited sense can you call "medium" the singular of "media". The OED has "medias" going back to 1927, though it does note that "The use of media with singular concord and as a singular form with a plural in -s have both been regarded by some as nonstandard and objectionable" – Colin Fine Mar 16 '16 at 18:00
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    The candidate appealed to young people, old people, and middle-aged people; all three peoples voted in unprecedented numbers. I don't think that works. (There is a meaning of the word people that takes the generally-recognized plural form peoples, but that's not the meaning that is needed in the italicized sentence.) The phrase all three medias strikes me as even worse. – David K Mar 16 '16 at 21:53
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    @sumelic: Indeed. For what it's worth, I think the usual term is "media organization". (That said, I think we could refer to a specific newspaper as a "medium for [...]", analogously to "venue" or "vehicle". It's only standalone "medium" that has the specialized usage.) – ruakh Mar 17 '16 at 1:09

Dictionary.com puts forward an alternative, less prescriptive view:

Usage note
Media, like data, is the plural form of a word borrowed directly from Latin. The singular, medium, early developed the meaning “an intervening agency, means, or instrument” and was first applied to newspapers two centuries ago. In the 1920s media began to appear as a singular collective noun, sometimes with the plural medias. This singular use is now common in the fields of mass communication and advertising, but it is not frequently found outside them.

However, these Google Ngrams surely indicate that the 'repluralised' form medias is non-standard.

  • What about "mediums"? That seems to be more common. – Ajedi32 Mar 16 '16 at 21:30
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    The meaning of 'mediums' is rarely the same as that of 'media'; see @Colin Fine's comment above. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 16 '16 at 22:44
  • Surely some of those Ngram "medias" are the phrase in medias res. – Steven Littman Mar 17 '16 at 0:55
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    Isn't "mediums" the plural of people who communicate with the spirit world? :P – John Clifford Mar 17 '16 at 9:19
  • @Steven Littman Again according to Google Ngrams, about half of them. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 17 '16 at 15:43

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