Type Are Plural

Transcribed below. The typewriter is the Royal HH.

Type Are Plural

Here is a peculiar fact of typewriter terminology: the plural of “type” is “type,” in the same way that the plural of “sheep” is “sheep.”

Type are the things that make the printed impression of a letter—the little blocks in the ends of the typebars, the letters on the golf ball, or whatever your machine uses to strike the paper with. Today, most people who write about typewriters would probably call them “types, but a century ago the proper plural was “type.”

Here’s a string of quotations to show the proper use of “type as a plural noun:

“The type are clear, clean-cut, hard; the alignment and spacing are utterly perfect.”

“In one make, at least, of typewriter, the type are on a small wheel and are inked by…”

“…improvements in another and simpler form, in which the type are arranged upon a single bar adapted for manipulation by one hand of the operator.”

“All typewriter type are of one width of body…”

“…whether the type are placed on separate pieces (type-bars), which move individually to a common point when a letter is to be printed, or…”

“Its use also gives positive proof whether the type are on their feet or not.”

“The type are easily cleaned, because they are in plain sight and getatable.” (From an advertisement for the Oliver No. 3. The type are certainly more getatable on an Oliver than on just about any other machine.)

These examples come from a quick search through Google Books. They could be multiplied many times over, but certainly we have enough of them here to show how the word “type” is used as a plural in an ordinary sentence.

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What Is This Place?

There is a certain amusing dissonance about a site on the Web whose theme is writing by making marks on paper. But that is not the only dissonance you will find here. This is a supplement to Dr. Boli’s Celebrated Magazine, and we’ll have long digressions on random subjects, instructional articles about writing instruments, and even poetry—but everything will be written out on paper, and only then published to the electronic world at large.