These data, those data

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Joanne Marinelli:
[nq:1]Data is both plural and singular.[/nq]
Data is plural. I know lots of people use it as though it were singular, but I'm not ready to roll over and wave my legs in the air on that point yet .
[nq:1]There is no such thing as data(s)[/nq]
There're certainly data I have a ton of them here! I agree that there are no such things as datas.
[nq:1]... and no literate phrase such as *those data(s).[/nq]
I would suggest that the phrase "those data" is certainly a valid and literate construction especially if you are referring to more than one set of data.
[nq:1]Naughty boys![/nq]
Please Miss! It weren't me it were Peter!
Cheers,
Daniel.
Daniel and I are in in serious disagreement here over the proper usage of data, so I made a new thread, no doubt due to light-headedness .

I have to mull over my case for singular, but still hold that if a speaker is going to say "these data" or "those data", it's non-standard.

I'll return with reinforcements shortly,
Joanne
PS: my spell-checker likes data's.

/
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BusyGuy:
[nq:1]Data is plural. I have to mull over my case for singular, but still hold that if a speaker is going to say "these data" or "those data", it's non-standard.[/nq]
Well I'll accept brickbats if I deserve them but I will continue to refer to "this data is flawed..." Anyone I was in conversation with would not understand what I was talking about if I said "this datum..."
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Eric Walker:
[nq:1]Well I'll accept brickbats if I deserve them but I will continue to refer to "this data is flawed..." Anyone I was in conversation with would not understand what I was talking about if I said "this datum..."[/nq]
"Data" is clearly a word in transition, and will some day be as singular as "agenda" has become; but that day is not today or tomorrow or even next week.
For any usage in transition, we have two choices: if we are enamored of it, for whatever reasons, we can valiantly soldier on for it by invariably using it; if, however, we carry no special brief, we can and should use the original form.
The reason is simple enough: those used to the older form will understand it readily, but will often be offended, sometimes deeply, by the use of the newer form; those accustomed to the newer form will almost invariably understand the older, and rarely if ever be much affronted by its use. So if we use the older form, we are universally (or very nearly so) understood and offend few if any, whereas if we use the newer form we probably have almost the same reach as to understanding but take a nontrivial risk of needlessly offending a certain fraction of our audience. (And, incidentally, by offending them we disturb the smooth flow of our ideas into their minds, and so diminish the usefulness of our speech or writing.)

I have very serious doubts, despite your asertion, whether anyone concerned with data with literally not understand the word "datum". And did any so respond, you can casually toss off that it is the singular of the plural form "data". Take my word for it, they will not in consequence lynch you from a lamp-post.
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Anonymous:
One result of having been forced to study Latin from age 11 to 16, coupled with a fairly traditional English education, is that I feel uneasy with usages like "a media", "the data is...", "the stadiums are", etc. I have actually seen the pronouncements of a politician called "dictums". I expect that by the time I am dead everybody will be talking in text-speak anyway, so I try not to let it affect me too much.
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John Flynn:
[nq:1]One result of having been forced to study Latin from age 11 to 16, coupled with a fairly traditional English ... am dead everybody will be talking in text-speak anyway, so I try not to let it affect me too much.[/nq]
Why are you complaining about English morphology being used in an English sentence on what are now English words?

johnF
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Anonymous:
[nq:1](snip)[/nq]
[nq:2]It wasn't a "complaint".[/nq]
OK I take your point about old fogeys predicting grunt talk, but I can't help it if I feel uncomfortable about text-speak! What do you suggest I do?
[nq:2]Now bugger off.[/nq]
[nq:1]After careful consideration, I think I'll pass on that, but thanks for the gracious offer.[/nq]
On consideration, I'll apologise for that bit of gratuitous rudeness. Offer withdrawn.
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Stephen Calder:
[nq:2]One result of having been forced to study Latin from ... I try not to let it affect me too much.[/nq]
[nq:1]Why are you complaining about English morphology being used in an English sentence on what are now English words?[/nq]
He explained it: upbringing.

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
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Stephen Calder:
You're withdrawing BEFORE you..oh never mind.

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
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Anonymous:
[nq:1]"Data" is clearly a word in transition, and will some day be as singular as "agenda" has become; but that day is not today or tomorrow or even next week.[/nq]
"Data" takes a singular verb in all of my conversations and writings. Few are as conservative as I am. "All right" is correct and "alright" is all wrong.
I suggest that the transition has progressed further than you think it has.
GFH
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