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

Dennis Lawrence denlaw at
Sun Jan 22 10:11:36 CST 2012

>   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 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 :-)

Take Care


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