Re: IS or ARE

Subject: Re: IS or ARE
From: Julia Land <jltw -at- EARTHLINK -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 18:36:23 -0500

Usually I just lurk, because someone else is expressing my thoughts as
well, or even better than I. But this time...

John Posada wrote:
> Guys...quick question.
> Is it:
> Real-time data "is" displayed... or Real-time data "are" displayed....
> I want to say "is", but data is a plural so should I use "are"?

The consencus seems to be "is," but I disagree. It depends on how the
term data is being used, and it depends on the audience.

To quote _The Gregg Reference Manual_,
>>The noun _data_, which is plural in form, is commonly followed by a
plural verb in technical and scientific usage. In general usage, _data_
in the sense of "information" is followed by a singular verb; in the
sense of "distinct bits of information," it is followed by a plural

"Data is" sounds better to me, too, but not to my clients, primarily
geophysical companies. For them, data are. It's probably because they
are acutely aware of the millions of "distint bits of information" that
comprise their data.

Now, someone tell me. Did I use "comprise" properly there?

Julia Land
jalnd -at- earthlink -dot- net (preferred)
jltw -at- earthlink -dot- net

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