20

Audio and video seem to me very similar words by usage. I often hear the plural form for video, but is there a plural form for audio? Can I say audios? I've never heard it being used.

  • 1
    Hmm... Audios amigos! – Robert S. Sep 2 '11 at 16:19
  • Can you say audios? I don't know.. try it, record it, and upload it so I can listen to it. Should you say audios? Nah. Just say "audio" and the context will facilitate your audience's understanding. – nothingisnecessary Oct 19 '15 at 19:33
11

Yes, you can. Both audios and videos took off in the 1980s, but videos gained more traction than audios, probably because there were already well-established short words to talk about audio recordings (records, 8-tracks, tapes) when video recordings became available on similar recording mediums. However, audios is being used legitimately in print and I doubt anyone would be confused as to the meaning if you used it. So if you like it, use it.

19

When you hear a phrase like

audio and video recording room

both audio and video are being used as uncountable nouns.

So you can't generalise from that context to using the word audios, because the pluralisation would mean that audio is a countable noun.

You can, however, use video as a countable noun. This has come about through typical English speaker laziness: video is short for either videotape or videocassette and has come to refer to the single instance contained upon the tape that the video is recoded on.

Typically, to refer to a single instance of audio, you say

[an/the] audio recording

and in plural

audio recordings

Audios is not a word in common usage, so it is not advisable to use it.

Unlike video, audio recording media tend to be shortened to the specific medium, e.g.

  • audiotape -> tape
  • audio cassette -> cassette
  • audio CD -> CD
  • 2
    Also, "(audio) clips" is common in the context of modern audio editing software. – Neil Coffey Sep 2 '11 at 12:34
  • @Neil: Or tracks. – Robusto Sep 2 '11 at 12:58
  • @Matt You might want to explain why you can say video, though. – Kit Z. Fox Sep 2 '11 at 13:11
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    If you google the plural "audios", the results return nearly 52 million hits for the word; going through the first few pages, i estimate that somewhere around 3/5 of the entries (at least) involve a syntax essentially same to that which the OP was asking about. Cut that to half as much, or even a third, and you get 10 to 20 million pages that use "audio" in the way the poster asked about. Some of the sites that use the word as wondered about, above, are the University of Wisconsin and Alcoholics Anonymous. Seems like a pretty suggestive sample, to me. – Kyle Pearson Sep 5 '11 at 12:17
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    +1 Agree. Somebody updated our company website with a section for multimedia and categories for Videos and Audios. Audios just sounds wrong to me, for reasons you mention. Videos seemed okay, and once they went with that I can imagine the next logical step was Audios, but I would have preferred to use Video and Audio as uncountable nouns. However, I am from the US, and the person who maintains the site is in Canada. Does that make the difference? They already misspell words like organisation and colour (har har) – nothingisnecessary Oct 19 '15 at 19:41

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