Re: Grammar Discussion [BRANCHED FROM: Wonder what the Delphians have to say about the new C++ Initiative]

2005-02-17 07:45:19 AM
"Daniel James" < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >wrote in message
In article <42122f9a$ XXXX@XXXXX.COM >, Robby Tanner wrote:
>>Good answer, wrong question.
>Oh, oh, I feel a strong disagreement coming on...:)

No need, just agree with me <smile>.
I suppose that's one solution.
It's customary to spell the name "Tony B. Liar", but otherwise correct.
See, now I have to rip that off at my earliest convenience. Thanks.
>If not, why is it OK to treat other singular nouns as plural,
>assuming of course collectives are still considered singular.

Why? Custom? Habit? I don't know. It's an empirically determined fact.

I didn't say I had an explanation for this, just the experience of a
lifetime of living in the UK and observing how people speak and write.

>>"Should"? There are no rigts and wrongs here, just idiomatic
>Yes, "should", in terms of adhering to a convention.

It *is* a convention, in Britain. You may be used to a different
convention ... but that doesn't make your convention "right" or mine
I wasn't comparing different conventions, rather a usage to a given
For the very reason that you have been citing all along: because a
singluar noun requires a singular verb and a plural noun requires a plural
So then it all comes down to whether a collective noun is also singular and
should (by the convention I'm used to) take a singular verb. If one refers
to the team as a unit, it's singular ("The team is..."), if referring to the
individuals why not refer to them using a plural indicator; as in "The
players are...", or even "The individuals of <insert said group here>..."
or "The Liverpool players are....."? I suppose it's a shortcut of sorts,
but to say "Liverpool are at Blackburne" vs "...[is]..." doesn't save
anytime and in print you've wasted a whole extra letter; dreadfully,
shamefully, wasteful..