[Taxacom] Species names

Curtis Clark jcclark-lists at earthlink.net
Mon Feb 18 17:03:18 CST 2008

On 2008-02-18 09:14, Richard Jensen wrote:
> Some have argued that we must use a plural verb because Fagaceae is a 
> Latin plural. My reply is, We are not speaking Latin. We are speaking 
> English. If the form of the noun in its original language were used to 
> decide the appropriate verb, then I would have to say that "Los Angeles 
> are a city on the west coast."! That really grates on my ears and nerves.

Its full name was originally /Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula/. 
/Reina/ is singular.

On 2008-02-18 10:44, Spies, Martin wrote:
 > If you're looking for an awkward combination of plural and singular
 > that's widespread, how about 'data is ...'? As such 'data' (hopefully)
 > never consist of a single datum, why not question the justification for
 > this usage instead? Who ruled when and on what grounds that 'data' can
 > be combined with singular verb forms only?

One of the quickest ways I've found to distinguish information 
technology folks from old-school biologists is that the IT folks say 
"data is" and the biologists say "data are".

Geographers speak of "datums".

And then there's "media", its singular "medium", and its plural "medias".

Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Director, I&IT Web Development                   +1 909 979 6371
University Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona

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