GDG- Is we is or is we ain't a Union?
denlaw at gojade.org
Sun Jan 22 10:20:41 CST 2012
> In American English, we now refer to collective
>nouns in the singular, such as "the team is playing tomorrow.
Teaching collective nouns and agreement with its verb was
always difficult for me.
If it is as an action being done as a single unit, "the team is
playing tomorrow" is correct. However, if it is done individually,
it would be" the team are showering."
Rather awkward to the ear so usually we see "the team members are showering."
So while Foote may not be right about when the change occurred,
grammatically he was right on target with the significance. Acting
as a unit the correct grammar is "the United States is", which is
what Lincoln claimed. Acting as individual entities, "the United
States are", which is what secessionists claimed
After the Civil War, Reconstruction of the union was accompanied by
Reconstructing the grammatical connections :-)
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