I have come across this passage on BBC news website.

"Video and pictures taken by resident Malcolm Carter and sent to the BBC showed the fire that burned on the terrace area earlier on Friday morning had been put out and significantly less smoke was coming from the building."

I do not understand why no articles or an S at the end were used for the word "video". Isn't video a countable noun? Shouldn't it be:

"A video and pictures taken by ..."


"Videos and pictures taken by ..."

Is there a grammar rule that I do not understand?

  • Although the earlier question doesn't directly address the situation here, the answers do. – mattdm Jan 1 '16 at 17:12

"Video" can be used as an uncountable noun for "the recording and broadcasting of moving images and sound" (Macmillan).


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Video is a word that can be treated as a countable noun: "I have only watched half of the videos in my collection."

It can also be treated as an uncountable substance-like noun: "The camera crew got several hours of video on the warehouse fire." That's the sense that was being used in the quote you shared.

It's not unusual for uncountable nouns to be used both ways. For example, one can say, "The recipe calls for a half pound of cheese", or, "I tasted five different cheeses at the party."

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