GDG- Is we is or is we ain't a Union?

atmackeyjr at atmackeyjr at
Sun Jan 22 11:43:59 CST 2012

In his use of verbs he was correct, but he was talking about a historical event causing verb usage, in which case he was not correct.

Best Regards,
Al Mackey

-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Diestel <agatematt at>
To: GDG <gettysburg at>
Sent: Sun, Jan 22, 2012 12:19 pm
Subject: Re: GDG- Is we is or is we ain't a Union?

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:

 Esteemed GDG Member Dennis Lawrence Contributes:

   In American English, we  now refer to collective
> nouns in the singular, such as "the team is playing  tomorrow.
>  Hello,

     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

 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 :-)

 Take Care


   As a veteran newspaper editor, let me digitally applaud your
rammatical abilities. One of the constants I have had to correct with
eporters --- especially newly minted ones from the nation's grandest
niversities --- is that there exists this wonderful part of the English
anguage called the collective singular and, thus, it takes a singular
   Your use of "team" is a fine example, indeed. Other collective
ingulars like city council, the Congress and, of course, the United States
f America, take singular verbs such as "is," "did" or "has" instead of
are," "does" or "have."  As I like to tell my youthful journalistic
harges, "We are all Americans but American is one nation."
    And Mr. Foote was, indeed, most correct in his use of verbs.
                With regards,
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