The United States is/are

Mark A. Mandel Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Wed Aug 23 03:32:05 UTC 2000

"Aaron E. Drews" <aaron at LING.ED.AC.UK> writes:

As for Britain (well, mostly England) referring to the U.S. in the
plural, it has nothing to do with being a Federal vs. a Confederal
system.  Countries and large collective nouns (teams, committees,
government agencies, etc) are treated as plural, although this is
losing its consistency in practice, I think.

Are France plural? (What's a Frant, anyway?)

"France are part of Europe"? Hardly, I expect, and that's not a political

"France have won the World Cup"? Maybe. Or does that refer to the team?

"France have pulled out of the negotiations"? That's political; is it

In what contexts *does* this treatment apply?

-- Mark, (though nothing like the traveler Barry is) from Ieper
   (Where I heard Last Call at the Menenpoort on Sunday night and said
Kaddish for all the dead
   commemorated there.)

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