Re: IS or ARE

Subject: Re: IS or ARE
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 10:38:53 -0700

On 7/25/2012 3:24 PM, Chris Morton wrote:

Phil's answer is the definitive one and I believe this question warrants no
further answers or explanations. > Chris

Phil's examples may not work if they contained "of" between the quantity and the unit being counted. He is correct, but he described a subjective construct, "'is' or 'are' depends on whether the free service is one period or not." I have suggested removing to "of" to remove the plurality in the phrase "two months of free service." "Of," suggests that months are separate units and there are two of them. "Two months free service," suggests there is one singular unit that is two months long.

While it is possible to endlessly debate how the phrase should be written, the real arbiter of what is correct is how the phrase will be read. If writers can find and debate the awkwardness in reading "two months of" as an "is," then readers will stumble on this awkwardness, too.

Additionally, many contracts, cases, and various rules omit "of" when discussing units of time. For example, employment policies contain references like, "6 months employment," for probation, since the unit of time is six months long rather than six units of time that are each one month long.


On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM, Lauren<lauren -at- writeco -dot- net> wrote:
...
If I was in that position and could not remove the is/are conundrum from
the sentence, then I would probably just go with "is," delete "of," and
leave work early. So, make "two months" a qualifier rather than a quantity
as, "Two months free service is given to a current customer." It sucks.
Right?



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Follow-Ups:

References:
IS or ARE: From: John Posada
Re: IS or ARE: From: Lauren
RE: IS or ARE: From: Joyce . Fetterman
Re: IS or ARE: From: Lauren
Re: IS or ARE: From: Chris Morton

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