Agreement question

Lisa O'Brien lisasmiles123 at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 18 21:31:06 UTC 2002

Hey there! Thanks for writing me back! You just made my day when I saw your
message! I had one of those days today  and I am not to thrilled about it. I
think I am going to go pamper myself for awhile. Ok well here are some more
pics of me, I would take the time to attach them, but come to think of
it...I don't really know how to do that. Ok well I hope you think I am
still pretty!! Teehee!! Ok well I will check back on here a little later,
and see what we should do from here. Ok well, time for me to make my day
even better. See ya later babe!! xoxo Lisa

>From: Dodi Schultz <SCHULTZ at COMPUSERVE.COM>
>Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Subject: Agreement question
>Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 13:14:50 -0400
>Jesse Sheidlower asks about subject-verb agreement:
>   >> The sentence was, "The stories the press tell are shaped not by a
>   >> 'liberal agenda' or a 'right wing conspiracy' but by..." This
>   >> was objected to on the grounds that _press_ is singular and thus it
>   >> should read, "The stories the press tells are shaped..."
>   >>
>   >> This objection seems to be correct.
>It is.
>   >> However, the original, "The stories the press tell are shaped..." is
>   >> _not_ jarring to me... Certainly one would never write, "The stories
>   >> Smith tell are shaped..." ... I'm thinking that it might be the
>   >> influence of the -s ending of _press,_ which, though not a plural
>   >> ending, might suggest plurality enough that "The stories the press
>   >> are shaped..." doesn't seem obviously wrong.
>   >>
>   >> Any thoughts?
>I think you're mentally substituting the word *media*, a plural noun that
>is often used in such constructions rather than "press" and that *would*
>require "tell." The word *media* is--rightly--used these days to refer to
>those disseminating the news, since "press" suggests strictly print.
>(Smarter PR people have long used "news release" rather than "press

Get faster connections -- switch to MSN Internet Access!

More information about the Ads-l mailing list