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(8 Posts)
LindyHemming Fri 11-Nov-16 19:11:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

overthehillandroundthemountain Fri 11-Nov-16 19:12:47

Oh yes. Bugbear, along with what the data is showing... What did you think of that phenomena?

OhtoblazeswithElvira Fri 11-Nov-16 19:19:08

Aargh shock criterias is new to me. Autocorrect so didn't want me to type it grin

However I think it's not comparable to treating data as a singular... I think data now has a life of its own in the English language and is becoming an uncountable singular, like police or sheep.

DadDadDad Mon 14-Nov-16 10:58:12

I agree, Ohto, I think "data" has become completely acceptable as a singular mass noun. The singular "datum" is a bit specialist.

I think "agenda" was originally a plural (of agendum), but no-one bothers about that now (do they?).

I think "media" is still holding out as a plural, but maybe "criteria" and "phenomena" are under threat.

overthehillandroundthemountain Mon 14-Nov-16 12:44:54

Data: Just because everyone does it, doesn't make it correct!

DadDadDad Mon 14-Nov-16 15:17:39

What? If every English speaker does it, then it is standard English. There is no absolute standard of correctness outside that established mutually by all native speakers. (Of course, native speakers make mistakes, but when they repeatedly do it this way, and their listeners accept it, and it appears in published writing, then surely it's an established usage).

Would it be correct to say "the agenda is packed" even though "agenda" was originally plural? No, because no-one uses it that way. Equally, "data" as singular is a widespread consistent usage.

DadDadDad Mon 14-Nov-16 15:21:21

Whoops - rhetorical question failure. I'll restate myself more clearly:

Would it be incorrect to say "the agenda is packed" because "agenda" was originally plural? No, because no-one uses it as a plural anymore.

OlennasWimple Fri 18-Nov-16 16:24:06

I use data as a singular (in my head I think of it as a sort of short hand for "data set")

Criteria - never!

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