[Ads-l] The United States Is/Are

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 10 21:01:02 UTC 2016

I've written about this canard on Language Log in '05 and for my Word
Routes column in '09.


Mark Liberman covered it from different angles on Language Log in '09.


And I touched on it one more time in a 2013 post (with a Google Ngrams


On Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 4:27 PM, Bill Mullins <amcombill at hotmail.com> wrote:

> I've heard many times that before the Civil War, the usual phrase was "the
> United States are", and after, it was "the United States is".  The United
> States went from a plural noun to a singular one.
> Does anyone know where this originated?  Have any of you tried to prove or
> disprove it?  (Too many databases ignore "is" and "are" to make it easy to
> check.)

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

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