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I like the joke about "gullible" though.

Joke? It's not in my dictionary. (But there are a few pages stuck together.)

IFYPFY. Also, somebody poked out one of your smilie's eyes.
Mark Edwards

Proof of Sanity Forged Upon Request
Joanne Marinelli schrieb:
Data is both plural and singular.

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 .

Ok, let me throw this one at you. Is "the United States" singular or plural?

T.

J'ai rêvé qu'on pouvait s'aimer
au souffle du vent
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Joke? It's not in my dictionary. (But there are a few pages missing.)

(I think I have the expurgated version no mention of birds that wet their nests.)
That's incredible, I don't believe you. What do you think I am?

You're ALLOWED!

When Toad found himself immured in a dank and noisome dungeon, ... he flung himself at full length on the floor, and shed bitter tears, and abandoned himself to dark despair. (Kenneth Grahame)
You missed my point, George, but it doesn't matter.

Let me go down this well-trodden path instead.
To me, alright = ok. All right = none left.
"To get to my house, you must drive down that street and make two right turns then a left."
"Well, I see my mistake. I made three right turns. In other words my turns were all right and this was not alright.
Ok, let me throw this one at you. Is "the United States" singular or plural?

A war was fought to settle that question. It is singular: it refers to the union, not to its constituents individually.
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Eric Walker schrieb:
Ok, let me throw this one at you. Is "the United States" singular or plural?

A war was fought to settle that question. It is singular: it refers to the union, not to its constituents individually.

So it's a collective noun- as is data.
Interestingly, "the United States" in other languages (German for example) is plural.
T.

J'ai rêvé qu'on pouvait s'aimer
au souffle du vent
Eric Walker schrieb:

A war was fought to settle that question. It is singular: it refers to the union, not to its constituents individually.

So it's a collective noun- as is data.

Yes; no. It is a collective noun in the same way "nation" is; the U.S. "Pledge of Allegiance" includes the words "one nation" and "indivisible". But there is zero ground or logic for deducing therefrom that "data" is a collective noun; as well "reason" that since Queen Elizabeth is female, so is George Bush.
If the nation tomorrow officially changed its name to "Columbia", grammatical references to it would be unchanged: "The United States is seeking . . . " or "Columbia is seeking . . . " It is simply the proper name of a unitary thing. There is no singular form for a word already singular. "Data" is a plural word because it is denoting a collection of individual things, which retain their individuality and for which there is a singular-form word.
Those who are fumbling about for a collective noun (and whose mothers were frightened while pregnant by the words "information" and "evidence" and "facts") should, instead of seeking to kidnap "data", recall the perfectly clear and widely used "dataset" (it is somewhat more often rendered as "data set", but the ratio is only about 3:2 and probably, given the usual trends in English, evolving toward the unitary version). If your inner demons prevent you from writing "the information shows" or "the evidence shows" or "the facts show", you can feel quite at ease writing that "the dataset shows", instead of corrupting logic and the tongue with "the data shows".

(You could bring yourself to write "the facts show", yes? Or would you require "the facts shows"?)
Interestingly, "the United States" in other languages (German for example) is plural.

That's their business; English is ours.
That's incredible, I don't believe you. What do you think I am?

We've already established that. Now we're just quibbling about price.

Wait. I told that wrong.
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Hi Mark
Nice meeting you.
You must be short of dictionaries!
Onelook lists 20 dictionaries with definitions.
Also how is a cluon harmed?
Just interested in the discrepancy.
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