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Acronym-verb agreement

Does the acronym ITS (Information Technology Services) take a singular verb or plural i.e.,

ITS is thinking of redoing the website.

ITS are thinking of redoing the website.

Since the last word is plural, wouldn’t it make sense to make the verb plural, even though it doesn’t sound good?

  • August 13, 2008
  • Posted by debra
  • Filed in Grammar

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If it doesn't sound good... that might a clue.

This might be part of the regional difference with collective nouns. In the UK they are often plural, and in NA they are usually singular.

John August 18, 2008, 1:55pm

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I always view ITS as having a silent "department" after it; indeed, in some companies it is referred to as "The ITS Department." With this wording in mind, it makes sense that ITS takes a singular verb since "department" is singular.


Julie Furnival August 20, 2008, 11:51am

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ITS is an acronym used as a noun. The full term "Information Technology Services" is the name of company - it is a noun. There is only one company, the verb is singular.

B. Silvia August 21, 2008, 8:12am

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I am having a similar issue. Should the acronym "US GAAP" use a singular or plural verb form?

US GAAP = United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

Kyle Carpenter September 29, 2008, 10:36am

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I agree with Julie

Collective nouns take singular.
The ITS(department)is being relocated

A number within a collective takes the plural
Some ITS employees are unhappy at this move.
The Government is... members of the government are...

phyllis September 30, 2008, 8:07am

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Hi.... I know this thread is old but... can someone help?

What about when you must spell the group name out on first reference? Specifically:
- "The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is/are cracking down on drunk driving?"
- "The Ellington County Players (ECP) is/are rehearsing for a new play?"

AJ June 7, 2012, 7:37am

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It should be singular; however, that only depends if you're talking about the organization as an organization or if the people who comprise of the organization.

Jasper June 10, 2012, 8:25am

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Yes     No