1. Sound of Silence
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    Sound of Silence Member

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    Training as a plural noun

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Sound of Silence, Jun 4, 2009.

    I'm kind of stuck with this one. A kid on another site asked this:

    And I was a little stuck with the answer. I said:


    So, being lost with trying to wrok this out, does anyone know if 'trainings' is the plural for training? :confused:
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I don't think so. Even training as a singular noun is a little iffy, I think its one of those things where people have abbreviated a longer term (something like training session) into just the noun training, and so to pluralise it one would need to revert back to using it as part of a more grammatically correct term. Either that or use "training" as a plural/collective on its own, bt that would only work in certain contexts. But I would say definitely never "trainings"; even if it's grammatically right, it sounds stupid.
     
  3. perylousdemon
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    perylousdemon Member

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    According to Merriam-Webster online, training is defined as "the act, process, or method of one that trains" or "the skill, knowledge, or experience acquired by one that trains". I think it's accepted as singular or plural.
     
  4. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't sound right to me. But my English...well, scratch that, English isn't my native language, as I'm from the Gaelic Highlands, so forget my English. But it still doesn't sound right.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Well, training in that context - you would speak of training available, but not a training available. It isn't a quantifiable item, so I don't think it makes sense to pluralize it. As an item, it would be a training course, or a selection of training courses.

    An analogous word would be knowledge. You can pick up knowledge, but not a knowledge or knowledges. You need a helper noun, like area, to pluralize it: knowledge areas.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    100% what Dave just said. This kind lingo is unfortunately very American in the attempt to coin catchy terms for internal use of industries. It pains the ear and stretches the rules overmuch to pluralize the word training.

    As Dave already mentioned, you can use training as the adjectival portion of a noun phrase where the noun it is modifying can then be put into the plural, but it sounds very poor as a standalone plural noun.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yikes!... i actually have to disagree with you for a change, dave!...

    to me, 'training course' is redundant... certainly, one undergoes training while taking a course, but i wouldn't put them together like that...

    i can't see any instance where the plural of 'training' would make good sense, since it's a process, not an item...
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    But to treat it as an item, you would combine it with a words such as course, to make a quantifianble unit.

    In the corporate world, they do often refer to specific courses as training, but they generally refer to them as training courses when speaking in the plural. I know it's redundant, but that's from the same folks who made leverage into a verb.
     
  9. Sound of Silence
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    Sound of Silence Member

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    Thanks for the input, guys. Instnct was saying it wasn't, but sometimes instinct isn't always right. t's cleared it up a little better. I hope you don't mind if I copy your answers over to this kid...

    Mama, thanks for your input to... Training courses is a valid arguement and does look redundant in that sense. But if you switch it to classifying 'a training bra' etc, maybe it still has its use too...?
     
  10. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    Just say it, in simple sentences.

    I have trainings.

    He has trainings in these areas.

    We have to go to our trainings now.

    No. Training is a singular plural, like sheep or fish. You can pluralise it with an s, but it just sounds yuppie-ish (trainings), cutesy (sheeps) or overly technical (fishes), respectively.
     
  11. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    Well, except for the fact that 'training' itself is not an item, but a process, so it isn't really correct to compare it to singular plural nouns like sheep or fish.

    'to train" is a verb, therefore, it can't be pluralized the way that nouns can be pluralized. It's like turning "swimming" into a noun...it just doesn't work.

    Training courses--what Cog referred to--is a very popular term in a lot of business areas for those who are being trained in certain skill sets. I personally don't hear a lot of people call them training courses, however. Instead I hear them referred to as "management classes" or "conferences" etc. I guess I luck out in that respect.

    To me, the very idea of using the word "trainings" or the phrase "a training" just doesn't sit right. Then again, a lot of the more modern terminologies don't sit right either considering how abused the English language has become.

    ~Lynn
     
  12. adepaula
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    adepaula New Member

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    Conclusion Please?

    I think this thread still doesn't supply a clear answer to the question. I work for a Medical Software company and constantly have to refer to our training schedule. I often refer to multiple "trainings" when writing to clients. Here are a few examples:

    "Due to differences in materials covered and time constraints we recommend keeping these trainings separate."

    "Both trainings will be held here."

    If this is not correct, how should I word these statements? Do I absolutely need to add "sessions/classes" to the sentence to make it grammatically correct? Please advise.

    Thanks,
     
  13. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really think you should reconsider that. If I saw something like that I would think the company unprofessional and would be reluctant to buy their services.

    I really don't understand at all what the first one is supposed to mean. If you can explain it then perhaps we can suggest a good way to phrase it.

    In the second case, you don't need "training" at all. What's wrong [1] with "Both courses will be held here" (or "classes", or "sessions").

    [1] What's wrong, actually, is that the reader has to work out where you are. Try "Both courses will be held at our Valhalla office."
     
  14. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    As others have pointed out, "training" is a singular uncountable noun, which means that it has no plural in standard English and would not be qualified with "a" or a number.

    The only place for "trainings" would be in dialog to show a problem that the speaker has with English. "The trainings" sounds Eastern European to me, or possibly somebody bluffing their way in management (more likely "discrete training delivery encounters" in the latter case, come to think of it).
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    "Trainings" is sometimes used as a shorthand for "training courses." It may be sloppy English, but the business world is enamoured of verbicide anyway, like turning "leverage" into a verb. No point blowing an aneurysm trying to correct them.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    cog...
    i have to disagree... in speaking with others of an 'in' group, maybe one could get away with it, but to put it in writing, from an official source, would be a ridiculous thing to do, would only demonstrate the person's ignorance of good grammar...

    there's no good reason to use such a patently improper word, when 'classes' and/or 'courses' will solve the problem nicely... either added after 'training' or used instead of it...
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think we're actually in agreement, Maia. I've just pretty much given up ranting about corporatespeak. It's more productive to shout at a wall -- at least then you get a decent echo. :)
     
  18. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Probably no point in ranting about it, I agree. But if I'm going to be spending my training time struggling with their language instead of struggling with the topic, they're probably not the training provider for me.
     

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