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As a singular, its domain is metaphysics; as a plural, marketing. What word is it?




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Answer: logos

In metaphysics Logos is reason as the controlling principle in the universe. In communications logos (e.g., the Golden Arches) give evidence that branding is the controlling principle in marketing.

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Good question. I got it, but came up with another answer because I read the question two ways. Good and goods -- "good" as a matter for ethical debate, "goods" for what marketers sell. It wasn't clear from context whether "singular" and "plural" meant identical spellings of the word.

[Mootguy: Good point. I'll post your response to the site and see if any of the others were getting confused by this.]
gregf at gregfelton.com
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I agree that it wasn't clear that the words were identically spelled.
markcindyallen at comcast.net
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Didn't get it. I don't think logos as used in marketing is the plural form of the Greek for "word," but a corruption of it. That would be consistent with marketing generally. :)
martindhayes at gmail.com
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Sneaky tough!
jffriesen at shaw.ca
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Cute question, but in fact they are different words (despite the identical spelling and common etymology). (And of course, linguists are not in agreement about what constitutes a word.)

Anyways, the singular "logos" is pronounced with an /s/ at the end, whereas the plural "logos" is pronounced with a /z/ at the end. The dictionary entry for the latter word would of course be "logo."

[Mootguy: So I have to say something like What homonyms are they?] [Mootguy: to make the question work. Yuck. The question's a dud. I promise to do better next time.]
jacko at lycos.com
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A logo (i.e. logotype) is not a plural word, just an ordinary noun formed from the first syllable of a compound, and having a regular plural form. My guess was "good" and "goods" respectively. Niels Homvoller, Stockholm, Sweden
nielshovmoller at gmail.com
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I like this definition much better: 1 : the divine wisdom manifest in the creation, government, and redemption of the world and often identified with the second person of the Trinity (Jesus)
bduff at trucking2000.com
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My response was medium/media--the singular in reference to a metaphysical vehicle for seeing into the netherworld, and the plural (print, tv, film, etc) to denote the various forms by which information is passed.
danimalev at hotmail.com
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I thought it was a great question and very fun. The picky comments are all valid and their existence just shows that it's a great question because it makes you think about interesting and important points, not the other way around (that they might show the question was "invalid" in some way).

[Mootguy: Vous avez raison.]
stephen yeh
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I came up with "medium" as in spiritualists, and "media" as in the mass media....a weak response, but I too misinterpreted the question.
psurajit at netscape.net
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I also came up with the medium/media answer and was thrown off by the singular/plural confusion
samkambol at comcast.net
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Another variation - I came up with desire and desires. I like good and goods better, though.
sylvano at comcast.net
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I'm with stephen yeh: a GREAT question, specifically because of its ambiguity and multiple issues/pathways. (And yes, I also loved the picky points; otherwise why be a word-nut?) Luckily for me, though, I didn't spend much time on it before peeking! All reward, no strain.
slundgren at warnerpacific.edu
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I thought of "good" and "goods," but I like "logos" and "logos"; I don't think the question is a dud at all. Because others thought as I did, I don't feel stupid, but I also got to think about words in a different way. Thanks!
kgrimes at ferrum.edu
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