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Picture of Kalleh
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Here is the sentence phrase:

"Of the available data, most focuses solely on medication errors..."

A reviewer changed it to "most focus." I get that data are plural so I guess she is right. Somehow "most focus" sounds odd to me. But now that I write this, I see her point. You would say, "Most have arrived" or "Most are red." Just sounds odd.
 
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Well, we all know people who insist absolutely that "data" must be plural and the singular is "datum". And they are all wrong. Modern English usage treats "data" as an uncountable noun like "traffic" or "homework" and as such it is perfectly acceptable to follow it with a singular verb. I agree that your version sounds right and the reviewer's version sounds wrong. I realise that the subject is not "data" but "most" but that's a red herring. "Most", depending on what it is "most" of, can be followed by either a singular or plural verb. "Most of the children are naughty". "Most of the washing up is done." "Most of the data is in this table." Data, to reiterate, is usually treated nowadays as uncountable. Uncountable nouns take a singular verb.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Yes, that was what I was thinking too. I thought it could be "Most of it focuses..." But then that goes against the whole plural use of "data."
 
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Funnily enough.

Seems to be something of a regular problem for you. Big Grin


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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From M-W;
quote:
Is data singular or plural?: Usage Guide

Data leads a life of its own quite independent of datum, of which it was originally the plural. It occurs in two constructions: as a plural noun (like earnings), taking a plural verb and plural modifiers (such as these, many, a few) but not cardinal numbers, and serving as a referent for plural pronouns (such as they, them); and as an abstract mass noun (like information), taking a singular verb and singular modifiers (such as this, much, little), and being referred to by a singular pronoun (it). Both constructions are standard. The plural construction is more common in print, evidently because the house style of several publishers mandates it.
 
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Bah, humbug! Data am plural. Mad But then if you're a Star Trek character of that name you must be beside yourself, or two of you, or something.

Oy, my head hurts.
 
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Yes, Tinman, many publishers do require the plural use. I know, Geoff, that you insist data are plural. However, to me, sometimes the plural form just doesn't sound right. I am probably jaded...
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
Bah, humbug! Data am plural. Mad

Yes, Scrooge, I mean Geoff, data is a plural noun, often used as singular, much like agenda. I'm sure there other examples, but I can't think of them right off hand.
 
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Really? Because I'd say data is uncountable. Before you disagree ask yourself how many of these sentences you would be happy with.

How many data do you have?
We have sixteen data.
These data are the best we have.
The data simply don't add up.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Sounds right to me, Bob. However I must admit that I'm on the losing side of this.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
Sounds right to me, Bob. However I must admit that I'm on the losing side of this.


Really?
"I have sixteen data" sounds right to you. Well, I suppose it takes all sorts. How about "There are ten traffics outside today" or "On my plate there are six hundred and forty one rices"?


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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You are flagellating an equine deceent.
 
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Just today I read an article that said, "The data is..." and I have to say, Geoff, it sounded so wrong to me.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Just today I read an article that said, "The data is..." and I have to say, Geoff, it sounded so wrong to me.


I'm still puzzled... now by Kalleh... I simply can't imagine anyone saying "We have sixteen data" rather than "We have sixteen data points" or "sixteen items of data".

And "These are the data" sounds so much clunkier to me than "this is the data". I honestly don't believe that in normal conversation I have ever heard anyone use the former.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Just learned a new word that you might consider relevant (in a silly way)... the singular of "confetti" is "confetto" so NEVER say "this is confetti" it should be "these are confetti".

Big Grin


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Along those lines I've long wondered whether the masculine form of ballerina is ballerino. I really don't know.

Edit: I just looked it up, and it IS ballerino!
 
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Back on track, here's a line from a recent Guardian article: "Taking these data at face value, a growing chorus insists that we’re living in a “post-truth” era,..."
 
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And the singular of graffiti is graffito
 
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So, I assume we can all start "correctly" using confetti, grafitti and spaghetti as plurals.

No more can the vicar tell the verger or church warden to "sweep up this confetti". He must use "these confetti".
In the restaurant you must cry not "waiter, this spaghetti is cold" it must be "these spaghetti are cold".
The local vandals haven't painted a giant penis as graffiti on your fence, it is just a single graffito though if they paint another tomorrow then it won't be "some graffiti" it will be "two graffiti." If it's artistic enough maybe a paparazzo will come and take a picture of it.

And of course let's never forget that the plural of octopus is octopodes!

Now, where is that tongue in cheek emoji? (Or should that be emojus Big Grin Confused )


Let's stand up proudly for "correct" usage!


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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And yes, I know emoji comes from Japanese not Latin.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Is the singular of spaghetti, spaghetto?
 
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https://www.bonappetit.com/sto...ngular-for-spaghetti


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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If it's Latin, I spaghetto, you spaghetts, we spaghett... Roll Eyes
 
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Speaking of plurals:

I used to ponder whether Spaghetti was the plural of Spaghettus.

In Italian the plural if "lira" is "lire." Really.
The present tense of "lire" is "Euros".

From today's NYTimes Spelling Bee letters (AGIRTVY) we can make "TRITIA." This I presume is the plural of "tritium" ?

The plural of Opera is Operae.

Alga is the plural of Algum.

Is this a new game?
 
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It's a new game if you start it! I for one am in favor.
 
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Harking back to the beginning of the thread - so what you're saying is that the plural of Data is Datae. Right?

As for me, Data is a plural noun, and always has been. But then I still flinch at split infinitives. Definitively a prescriptivist.
 
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Datae? Tongue in cheek there, I hope. One more time “data” is (usually) an uncountable noun (or mass noun, if that’s your preferred terminology) and therefore doesn’t have or need a plural. What it does need is singular verb agreement.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Indeed. And there are literally thousands of words in the dictionaries that are no longer in common use today. I remember, for example, a line from early on in Macbeth "Aroint thee, witch!' the rump-fed ronyon cries." Three words out of seven there that are in the OED but not used now, four if you count "thee".

The simple FACT is that in almost all common usage "data" is an uncountable noun. Yes it is true that it is ALSO the plural of "datum" but that is a usage that is heard about as commonly as "spaghetto", or "confetto".
You really should stop fighting battles that have already been lost. Let's hope you aren't still fighting it after world war three starts, which I believe is scheduled for some time this week.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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quote:
But then I still flinch at split infinitives.

Me, too, Hab.

And, Bob, of course you make a good point. However, I do think a "flinch" is fine. Another one of mine is "irregardless." Remember arnie with "moot point?" We don't make a big deal, but we do flinch.
 
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