USAGE: THEORY/USAGE: irregular English plurals (was: RE:
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, May 22, 2002, 22:02|
And Rosta scripsit:
> As you probably realized after sending that message, analysing these
> putative bare plurals as mass singulars runs into difficulties with
> "The lion are scarce today", etc.
Ungrammatical for me.
> You cannot even resort to treating them as analogous to collectives
> like "The team have been playing well", because whereas "team" is
> singular but triggering plural agreement
Not for Merkins: "The team has been playing well" is the only thing
that works. Fowler wanted us to say "The jury is agreed" but "The
jury are disagreed", but I think no one follows him in this.
> "These lion were tracked down yesterday".
I still can't swallow it.
John Cowan <jcowan@...> http://www.reutershealth.com
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith. --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_