NYT: "Facebook's headquarters _are_ located at One Hacker Way." [NT]

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Sep 2 22:27:34 UTC 2012

You're centuries too late for mathematics. The OED says, "In early use always construed as a plural, and usually preceded by the. In modern use regarded as a mass noun, except when used of calculations."

The two earliest citations that demonstrate number are at odds:

1648   Bp. J. Wilkins Math. Magick i. ii. 12   Mathematicks..is usually divided into pure and mixed.
1697   J. Wallis in Peter Langtoft's Chron. (1725) I. Pref. 147   Mathematicks, (at that time..) were scarce looked upon as Academical Studies.

Headquarters goes either way for me, but "are" sounds far more natural. The OED says, "With pl. and sing. concord."

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

On Sep 2, 2012, at 3:20 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> Soon, "mathematics are," "physics (the science and not the bowel-movement) are"?

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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