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 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 passion. Learn More

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jayles the unwoven

Member Since

June 3, 2014

Total number of comments

201

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107

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Plural of name ending in Y

  • December 7, 2016, 6:32pm

This would suggest -ies is more common:

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=the+Quarterlys%2Cthe+Quarterlies&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cthe%20Quarterlies%3B%2Cc0

could be avoided by: ".... you will receive four issues of the SGS Quarterly this year."

@HS No, far be it from me to suggest that "those of us who attended schools and universities prior to 1965 should forget all that we learned about the English language in that time". On the contrary, one should remember and question everything, especially the assumptions behind so much of what was taught. Education begins when you leave college and life hits you in the face. Clinging unquestioningly to what we were taught simply leads to fossilized thinking. If education is in part an older generation passing on what they believe to important or useful skills and knowledge, then we must recognize that the framework of our education for our generation was founded in a "Victorian" view of the world, and a "Victorian" view of the English language. What was right for them, may, or may not, be right for us in our time. But mostly I question the whole attitude that some (upper-class) can make up rules for my language by mere fiat or diktat. Not that I wish to begin the whole argument anew; merely that in my world my education finally led me to question everything, and come to the conclusion that in so many things there is no black and white, no right and wrong except in the mindset of so many blinkered people. Fortunately I managed to emigrate, get away from it all, and learn what is important and useful for myself.

@hi Same issue - on first reading "the environmental dimensions" seems to be the first item in a list of four. How about:

Perhaps less common are the four “new” categories (or environmental dimensions) presented: visual, aural, olfactory, and tactile.

@HS I don't recall being taught anything about collective nouns plus singular verbs at school; perhaps it was taught and I was so busy daydreaming about our French conversation mistress at the time and worrying about my sinful thoughts that I missed it. Presumably your syllabus was different or you were more attentive.

Whether it is "correct" or not would hinge upon the criteria used. However if "people who are apparently reasonably well educated" persistently and knowingly use words such as "family" with a plural verb, despite "what has been taught for decades in schools in the UK and elsewhere", there must be a good reason, they must feel comfortable doing so, and editors do not automatically edit such constructions out. If you feel uncomfortable with this, then your eduction or background or thinking must be different to theirs.

@HS You have not actually explained Jane Austen's use of 'family' - a "collective" noun - with a plural verb, which seems contrary to your opening post: 'Despite arguments to the contrary, "family" is a collective noun, and I don't care how many family members there might be, it therefore gets a singular verb.'

I would also like your analysis of whether "family" is a collective or plural noun in the following extract taken from Pride & Prejudice, Chapter VI of Volume II (Chap. 29):
"...and it was but the other day that I recommended another young person, who was merely accidentally mentioned to me, and the family are quite delighted with her."

@HS So how can we tell that "cattle" is plural but "herd" is a "collective" noun?