Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
- Grand Panjandrum
- Posts: 3194
- Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
- Location: RUSTON, LA
Rreminds me of the use of is and are with collective nouns. The legislature is agreed, but sometimes the legislature are divided. Actually, we seldom use the latter, but the grammar books insist it is correct. If we think of a group acting as one, we use "is." If we think of individual actions within the group, we may choose "are." Or at least that's what I was taught. In the above example, some would be considered acting individually. Nicht wahr?
I would always say "is" for singular collective nouns, but "are" for plurals, like sports teams. British English sticks with a singular for the plural collective.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
Slava: Thanks for the Russian "odni" and its English translation to "some". As for English glasses, trousers, scissors, etc., I usually say "a pair of ... ,"even though the two parts definitely make a singular whole.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Slava wrote:It may be mostly British speak, but I have come across "a scissors."
Really? I'd only recognise 'some scissors' - the only singular scissor would be 'a scissor kick' or similar.
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