Re: style guides (was: frustrating grammar error)

Subject: Re: style guides (was: frustrating grammar error)
From: "Rob Writer" <piercedroo -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2002 09:31:09 -0600


<...but "data" is a plural noun.
Greg>

This is not entirely correct, and makes a good case for the often harped-on notion of "pick one or the other, and use it consistently", and make it a part of your style guide.

According to two different sources, neither of which are absosulte authorities on the matter: MS Manual of Style--Use either singular or plural in meaning, but always with a singular verb ("the data is"). And from Strunk and White--Data is a plural, and is best used with a plural verb. The word, however, is gaining acceptance as a singular.

Remember, however, that S&W was originally published in 1959. Perhaps the singular style has gained "complete" acceptance by now?

I don't think this thread is really so much about grammar as it is about selecting/creating/modifying a style guide, and then sticking to it consistently.

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