Kinds of goods /Waren und Güter

Wikipedia has an entry headed Final good, which subsumes all kinds of things as goods. For example, the public good and private good are listed as types of goods.

I am in a quandary. I don’t feel like correcting the article, because it is about economics terms and not language. I also feel that people like the Language Log bloggers would see me as a prescriptivist.

But for me, the public good is an abstract, only ever used in the singular, and consumer goods always has an s on the end, and never the twain shall meet. That is, goods is an example of pluralia tantum – nouns that in a particular sense occur only in the plural.

However, there is also a technical meaning of good: a particular article that is produced in order to be sold. So it’s not part of everyday English, but it fits in that article. I’m still not happy with the heading – it’s not a disambiguation article, after all.

5 thoughts on “Kinds of goods /Waren und Güter

  1. I was originally raised as an economist, and we always referred to public goods. They cover many things: defence, health, welfare, etc. I think it is more or less standard speech. It’s to do with the opposition between state-supplied goods and private market goods.

  2. Thanks very much. I see it’s part of economic s terminology, but it was completely new to me. Mind you, as a legal translator, I should learn more about economics, but when I read things I find they don’t stick.

  3. powidl?
    My friends are never happy when I say “krapfen”, always insisting that that is Austrian and that they should be “berliner”.

  4. There’s a Wikipedia article on powidl, but it seems misinformed – it should be the same as German Pflaumenmus, a sort of plum ‘cheese’ cooked for a long time without added sugar.
    Yes, I realized the dialectal variations would come up. We haven’t exhausted them – see comments on earlier entry

  5. There ist still the name “pfannkuchen” for krapfen in the eastern part of germany – so it`s again nearer to the “pancake”.

    –but i`ve never seen thes krapfen with champagne! And they deliver, i just called!!!

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