Friday, May 26, 2006

Maybe it's a British/Canadian thing

When I refer to a company or a sports team or a collective group, I (and it seems most people) do it in the singular. The rationale is that Google is an entity, much more than the CEO, his board, and their employees. For example, if Google undergoes a merger with Sun Microsystems (not likely), Google undergoes one. Some people will say "Google undergo merger". That is one of my pet peeves. Now, today I read an article on Cricket in BBC where the West Indies team is mentioned as follows:
West Indies do not have any matches scheduled for the Queen's Park Oval at next year's World Cup.
However, when they refer to Google, they do it in the singular. What do you think? The most frequent annoyance appears in the form of "Microsoft are...".

1 comment:

hbl said...

Yes, common useage for a named group is in the singular. Plural useage is stilted.

My pet peeve: "the data are..."