[Taxacom] data

Richard Petit r.e.petit at worldnet.att.net
Wed Feb 20 16:12:47 CST 2008

This thread has gone on for many messages with different arguments.  The "data are" / "data is" question is not of plural versus singular.  Over a half century ago I had it drummed into me that data is a collective noun and as such was to be treated as a single item.  A compilation of data becomes a single entity and should be teated as such unless you are referring to different data sets (your data and my data do not show the same result so those data are not usable. My data is correct.  

Why can it be correct to say "this compilation" but incorrect to say "this data"?  If it has to be "these data are" then it should be "these compilation are."

It all boils down to editiorial arrogance.  

dick p.

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