plural people

Mark A. Mandel mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Thu Apr 13 15:55:17 UTC 2006

The usage is routine, and not just with personal names. In one of the
projects I work on (, the work includes
tagging named entities of various kinds, including company names. The
guidelines specify as an exception:


Generic names that do not refer to a specific entity should not be tagged

        the Campbell Soups of the world (no markup)


I have also given the annotators (invented) examples of this type of
exception with personal names and location names:


   History records that the world has always had too many Stalins and too few

[assuming a news article about something happening in a small town called

   There are hundreds or thousands of Perryvilles, but we never read about
most of them.

[That is, this sort of thing happens frequently in small towns, but ...]


Does anyone find these sentences strange?

-- Mark A. Mandel
    Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania

The American Dialect Society -

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