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Is a Company always Singular?

(4 Posts)
CointreauVersial Thu 27-Mar-14 12:55:19

OK, pedants of MN, I need your input.

I'm writing some marketing material, and am never sure whether to treat a company as singular (i.e. a corporate entity):

"Teapots Limited is a world-leader in teamaking"

or as a plural (i.e. a group of people):

"Teapots Limited are here to help"

My pedantic common sense says the first one is generally correct, because it is A Company (and our Commercial Manager, who is always talking legal stuff/claims etc, agrees), but..... is the second version ever correct?

From a marketing p.o.v. it is sometimes nice to present the company as a lovely group of caring-sharing staff, rather than a faceless corporate entity. So I am then tempted to use the plural; focus on the WE, if you will, but don't want to do this if it is a grammatical howler.

What do you think?

JeanSeberg Thu 27-Mar-14 16:29:25

www.economist.com/style-guide/singular-or-plural

Always singular according to The Economist.

chateauferret Thu 27-Mar-14 20:58:56

I'd say singular. Things get a bit more awkward with sports teams - "Chelsea are winning", "England are all out". What about other kinds of group? "The police" is always treated as plural in English, but "the army" singular.

The worst case is where a writer is inconsistent. Recruitment consultants seem to be the worst offenders and the words "My client" seem to be an excuse to forget all about grammatical number. "My client are a brand leader which is expanding their operation". Rii-ight.

CointreauVersial Thu 27-Mar-14 23:10:15

Thanks for the responses.

Yes, chateauferret, I fear I have been "inconsistent" in the past; in fact, tomorrow I shall be reviewing the company website (my baby) with an electronic red pen.

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