Where are all those British collective plurals?

December 4, 2008

LANGUAGE LOG–I have some things to say about markedness, variation, and the role of habits in creating meaning. And I was planning to say them this morning, taking as a starting point the US/UK difference in verb agreement with collective nouns like government and committee that Geoff Pullum cited in his recent post “More on verb agreement as a judgment call“: full story
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BRITISH COLLECTIVE PLURALS

December 4, 2008

LANGUAGE HAT–Most of us probably have a general sense that U.K. usage favors “the [group] are” where Americans say “the [group] is”; if you’re curious about the details, check out Mark Liberman’s post at the Log. He investigates committee and government, and discovers that the singular is favored overwhelmingly for the former and significantly for the latter; various full story
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