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

joanna/leo mayapple at
Sun Jan 22 20:17:08 CST 2012

And as a professional proofreader (for the Gettysburg Times) let me agree 
wholeheartedly.  We had two reporters who thought the past tense of "drag" 
is "drug."  They've been replaced by a recent grad who doesn't know "it's" 
from "its."  I had to explain cavalry vs. Calvary to her as a requirement 
for being in G'burg.
Leo McGuire
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <joadx1 at>
To: <gettysburg at>
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2012 12:40 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- Is we is or is we ain't a Union?

> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> And as a veteran university professor, I can say that the situation is 
> hopeless.  Consider the question of noun-pronoun agreement.  Everyone in 
> this country now simply uses the plural pronoun "they" for all purposes, 
> as in "when someone goes to the store, they buy milk."  I grant that there 
> is some wiggle room in grammatical convention, but sometimes you get 
> ludicrous statements like "when Sally went to the store, they bought 
> milk."  I know where this comes from: a desire to avoid gender-weighted 
> pronouns (traditionally, the masculine personal pronoun was used for all 
> indefinite singular purposes), but I ask my students to try to avoid 
> glaring mismatches.  I also try to explain the difference between "it's" 
> and "its," and "there," "they're," and "their," to little avail.  Now I 
> see "where" being used when the writer means "were," even among 
> professional journalists.  Such is the effect of a spell checker that 
> cannot discern context.
> When I get my first "+1" in an essay when the writer means "I agree," it 
> may be time to retire.
> Not really.  There are worse things in the world to contend with (or 
> should I say, "with which to contend").
>    >As a veteran newspaper editor, let me digitally applaud 
> yourgrammatical abilities. One of the constants I have had to correct 
> withreporters --- especially newly minted ones from the nation's 
> grandestuniversities --- is that there exists this wonderful part of the 
> Englishlanguage called the collective singular and, thus, it takes a 
> singularverb.    Your use of "team" is a fine example, indeed. Other 
> collectivesingulars like city council, the Congress and, of course, the 
> United Statesof America, take singular verbs such as "is," "did" or "has" 
> instead of"are," "does" or "have."  As I like to tell my youthful 
> journalisticcharges, "We are all Americans but American is one nation." 
> And Mr. Foote was, indeed, most correct in his use of verbs. 
> With regards,                       Chet<
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