I am infuriated by the insistence that “data” always takes a plural verb: “the data are…”

This reeks of pedantism and is nothing but a “deliberate archaism” designed to make the user feel clever and superior. People will argue about this endlessly, but you can not change the fact that in English “data” is regularly used as a singular mass noun. Most style guides admit that this is acceptable usage.

It’s a lot like split infinitives, which people like to harp on about being incorrect, but only because everybody says they’re incorrect even though there are no authoritative sources that say so.

Nobody uses plural verbs with “agenda” anymore either. Never mind the countless other words whose usage in English doesn’t follow the rules of the language from which they originate. Why do the pedants insist on this one?

Random FAQ Comments (0)

Leave a Reply