[Ads-l] "information" as a plural

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Sep 29 11:07:16 EDT 2021


> On Sep 29, 2021, at 7:05 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> Chloe Melas, entertainment reporter, CNN, just now:
> 
> "There have been a whirlwind of petitions filed since."
> 
> I wonder alternatively if people are hypercorrecting the dreaded "There is."
> 
> However, "petitions," not whirlwind, is salient.
> 
> JL

So “whirlwind” here is essentially doing the job of “number” or “lot".

> 
> On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 4:41 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> Quorum.com:
>> 
>> "There are scarring on my lungs."
>> 
>> Plural "lungs" is the noun that gets the most emphasis, vocally and
>> topically.
>> 
>> Though Swedish, the writer is fluent in English. He also writes, "while
>> factors like age, obesity, and preexisting conditions do affect those
>> chances of death or complications, your 'strong immune system' is actually
>> not a factor of getting infected."  (OK, so he uses "of" instead of "in.")
>> 
>> JL
>> 
>> On Fri, Sep 24, 2021 at 5:08 PM Mark Mandel <markamandel at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> I'm familiar with "the data is", which certainly isn't plural, but I'm
>>> pretty sure I haven't encountered a plural "datas". So I think the
>>> singular
>>> "data" is really a mass noun, like "information" (in traditional usage),
>>> "evidence", "music", "money", "progress", and many others.
>>> 
>>> Mark Mandel
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 1:13 PM Stanton McCandlish <smccandlish at gmail.com
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> Yes, I can see how the error happened, but it's still an error.
>>>> Unless we're seeing an actual shift.  It wouldn't be the first time
>>> there's
>>>> been one in this sort of term.  E.g. "data", a plural, has become
>>>> frequently used in the singular, while "datum" recedes into obscurity.
>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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