Is it just me or a change in our lexicon, but you hear people on the street, teachers, anchors, advertisements saying such things as "Here's five reasons why you need this product." "There's several reasons for this," etc. Yet these same people would not say, here is five reasons...or there is several reasons. When instructors start using it, for example, it may be just more than slang. Is it becoming acceptable as our language evolves?
I think you might find the following paragraph interesting.
For others around the country who are wondering how best to help a neighbor in need, I strongly urge them to think about joining one of these service clubs, a club whose sole existence is to help make America a better place. And so, I know there are some in our country that say what can I do to help. Well, here is five good opportunities.

Guess who said that?

Answer: [url="http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/07/20010702-1.html "]President Bush[/url].

I am with you, I would tend to use "are." But maybe we are looking at this incorrectly?

The rest of what I am writing is just mental thinking out loud. I might be dead wrong. Let's see what others think.

Five reasons are here. We agree that this is correct.

"Here is five reasons," he said holding up his latest manifesto as to why they should oppose Pres. Chavez's re-election in Venezuela on the 15th of this month. Correct? I am not sure whether it is right or wrong (Pres. Chavez aside).

A large truck with eighteen wheels is good for carrying a lot of cargo. Here we focus on "truck" not the 18 wheels.

I wonder if "here is five reasons..." we should focus on the location "here".

You could intepret that as....

This document contain five reasons. This thing=five reasons.

Anyway, I am not sure. Interesting question. I tend to side with you and use "are" but I wouldn't be surprised if we are looking at this question incorrectly.

Let's wait and see what others say. I thought the Pres. Bush quote was interesting, so I wanted provide that quote for some stimulative thinking. I suspect Pres. Bush has all his speeches proofread well in advance. So was this just a slip, or was it on purpose?

Waiting for others to jump in.

Hi, Guest. Emotion: smile
English is not my first language and I don't live in an english-speaking community, so I cannot say how frequently "there is" is actually used by native speakers.

What I can tell you is the explanation some grammars give: they say it is possible to generalise the rule of subject-verb concord to "a subject which is not definitely marked for plural requires a singular verb". This would explain, among other things, the tendency in informal speech for "is/was" to follow the "formal" or "grammatical" subject "there" in existential sentences such as "there's hundreds of people on the waiting list".

I've read similar explanations in books that were first published at least 30 years ago, so I doubt this is a "new" tendency.

I personally make the verb agree with the "notional" or "real" subject (There are hundreds of people...) but I hear colleagues use "there is" in similar constructions all the time.

Hope it helps.

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Prescriptive grammars will insist upon "here are", "there are" in the contexts identified above, especially in writing. Nevertheless, it's not just you. That is, you are not the lone ranger in observing this phenomenon.

It's possible that "here's" and "there's" are or are becoming coalesced forms like "gonna". Note how "gonna" and "going to" are actually distinct in meaning; they cannot always be used interchangeably.

Example: *I'm gonna New York by plane next week.

Likewise, "here's" and "there's", as they seem to be evolving, are becoming different from "here is" and "there is". The former are grammatically number neutral, but the latter do have grammatical number (singular). Compared with other languages in which such number-neutral terms have evolved long ago, English has been rather slow to develop in this direction. I am referring, of course, to Russian's 'vot' (here's), French's 'voici' (here's), French's 'il y a' (there's), and Spanish's 'hay' (there's), to name just a few, all of which will allow a singular or plural noun to follow quite happily. Maybe it is now English's turn to undergo a similar change? Who knows? So far, the transformation, if it is real, is only partially complete: The number-neutral form "here's" has not yet actually rendered "here is" obsolete!

As for the question of acceptability, we need to remember that acceptability of grammatical structures is not very different from fashion. How much different is it to browse through a fashion magazine or through a grammar book? In both cases we want to fit in socially, wear the right thing this season, speak the right way this season? Fashions in language change much, much more slowly than fashions in clothes, but the relative lengths of their seasons aside, what's the real difference? Who uses thou and thee anymore? When the "here's/there's" phenomenon finally sweeps through the ranks of the linguistics mavens, the grammar books will all be rewritten!

(Oh, no! I'm gonna get hate mail for this one! Emotion: smile )
Thank you for your answer. Intuitively, I would have said "are" as well. But I was surpised to see Pres. Bush's stuff at his official Whitehouse website. So I thought that maybe my intuition was wrong. Anyway, thanks for the clarification.
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 miriam's reply was promoted to an answer.
Native British speaker thinks:

I think this is just a case of being a bit lazy verbally. I don't think anyone actually says 'There is Five'. People say 'There are five' or There's five' (as the contraction of 'there is').

I would guess that it is because most English people like to contract their words where possible, particularly in informal situations/speech. The contraction of the correct 'There are' would be There're, which is a bit of a tongue twister. Some people do say this but, being a lazy bunch, a lot of people will contract it to There's, which is easier to pronounce.