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What does 'grammatical concord' mean? Examples as well?
Thanks a million.
Notional concordThis stands in contrast to grammatical concord and means agreement by
meaning rather than grammar, where the two are in conflict. In BrE, notional concord occurs when plural verbs are widely used with collective nouns: The Opposition seem divided among themselves; The committee have decided to increase the annual subscription. Some of the controversial uses of they can be accounted for in this way: Everybody has left now, haven't they? In both BrE and AmE, singular verbs are usual with apparently plural forms that are notionally felt to be singular, as in: Fish and chips is no longer cheap; ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ is a classic novel; $50 was a lot to pay. Usage is divided in some areas. With various negative structures, some people favour grammatical, singular concord and others prefer notional, plural concord: Neither John nor Mary knows about it in contrast with Neither John nor Mary know about it, and None of the bodies so far recovered was wearing a life-jacket in contrast with None of the bodies so far recovered were wearing life-jackets.
This is from a larger article on the topic of grammatical concord, at
Anonymous:"Notional concord" simply means that in deciding whether two parts of speech are in concord or not one considers the concept or notion that is denoted and not the formal characteristics of the part of speech. The following is an example of this:
"Senior management have been resisting the changes to the organisation for some time."
While "senior management" is singular, "have been" is plural. This emphasises the fact that individual senior managers, making up the group referred to as "senior management", have been resisting change as individuals. The "notion" is one of a group of individuals acting individually and is therefore plural. The verb is therefore also plural.
However, let us assume that the senior management, as a group, were to hold a meeting and issue a communique announcing that the group known as the "senior management" intends to resist change as a group. In this case, one could say that "senior management has decided to resist the proposed changes." The "notion" in this case is of a single entity, senior management, acting in concert. Hence the notion is singular and the use of the singular verb ("has") is appropriate. This is just one form of notional concord.
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