Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

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24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with a passion. Learn More

Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with a passion. Learn More

The company 'are'

I cringe whenever I hear the way Brits say: ‘the company ‘are’ or ‘the school board ‘are’ voted in by the parents. What is really frightening to me is that Americans are starting to use the same construction. My research tells me that Brits treat collective nouns as plural, while in the USA we consider them singular. ‘School Board’ is singular. ‘School Boards’ is plural.

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atanga Aug-25-2022

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I agree with you and you make a good point at the end, as in the British way, you cannot distinguish whether the plural usage indicates one school board composed of multiple members or multiple boards.

I think Americans do two different things, depending on the context. Typically we say: “Google IS a large corporation. Google IS going to do this or that. Google SAYS… All use singular verbs.

I’ve never heard anyone except Brits, Australians, etc., say “Google ARE…” However, I do hear people REFER to Google in the plural when they have grievances against Google employees or management, whom they feel have caused them harm. Punitive actions are done by people, THEM, not an entity, IT. I see a mix of the singular used when referring to Google in a more impersonal sense, vs the plural used when a someone alleges harm by people at Google against them. They won’t say “Google ARE doing this to me.” They’ll say something like, “Google is doing this to me. THEY demonetized my YouTube videos.” They use Google with the singular, and in the next sentence will say THEY. Clearly meaning Google. But not messing up the tense in the sentence.

So I think when the view of the speaker/writer switches from an entity to the people in the entity, that’s when you’ll see the switch from singular to plural. But it will be in a different clause or sentence.

SallyMJ Jul-11-2022

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Dyske, I don't disagree with you. I would probably use 'it' though, since 'it' was used already (Google said 'it')

swabbyk Jun-30-2022

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"Google said it would file a lawsuit but did not specify the date."

I'm tempted to use "they" in the example above because I visualize multiple people involved at Google.

Dyske Jun-29-2022

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