Mudcat Café message #3786851 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #159749   Message #3786851
Posted By: Steve Shaw
23-Apr-16 - 06:45 PM
Thread Name: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
We have to accept cheerfully what owners of names decide when it comes to plurals. Morrison founded Morrisons supermarket and Sainsbury founded Sainsbury's supermarket. Who are we to argue? When it comes to constructions such as "a number of people have disagreed," well you can be as pedantic as you want, but if you insist on saying "a number of people has disagreed" you will not only raise eyebrows but you'll also be wrong. Oh, the joys of English!

"Data" is fine without any specification of plurality. It's the way we use it. But you can't say "a data" or anything like that. But the word "datum" is a good English word but it has very restricted application. If I feel my knickers getting into a twist over any of these issues, I simply rejig the sentence from scratch. Hanging on to your beloved constructions come hell or high water is a mistake that will sap your energy.