TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
I just got back from the beach, so I'm playing catch-up here.
"Which phrase do y*all prefer? Are any grammatically incorrect?
1) This data helps the analyst.
2) These data help the analyst.
3) The data helps the analyst.
4) The data help the analyst."
The word "data" is the plural of "datum," so the verb would be "help." As
to whether to say "these data" or "the data," that would depend on whether
you need to identify which data you are talking about. Either is correct,
depending on the context. That's my two bits.
Nighthawk1 -at- aol -dot- com, or powen -at- lmi -dot- org