Accents in Am. English

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Jun 15 17:46:53 UTC 2000

I always use data as an uncountable noun, which I think is pretty standard
these days. I think the same is true of ham and eggs, although I would
imagine people who work with food would probably use it as a singular and
plural form as well as an uncountable noun.

I was told to stop pronouncing data as dahta because of the popularization
of dayta in the Next Generation.

Benjamin Barrett
gogaku at

>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
>Of Joseph McCollum
>Someone else had mentioned "data" -- On the TV show, Star Trek:  The Next
>Generation, someone calls Data "Dat-ta" and he immediately corrects him
>and he says his name is "Day-ta."  Of course, the classical Latin
>pronunciation would be "Dat-ta" but as in "silo" a vowel on the end of an
>Anglo-Saxon word can make the previous vowel long, "Day-ta."
>So, would I be off the mark in saying that "Day-ta" is singular but
>"Dat-ta" is plural?
>We have an in-house editor who insists that data is always plural.  I've
>always liked the expression:  "If you torture the data enough, it will
>confess to anything."  (somehow "they will confess" doesn't carry quite
>the same effect).  Then again, maybe it's like "Ham and eggs is my
>favorite breakfast."

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