Is “data” considered singular or plural?
Milton Friedman, the Nobel-prize winning economist used to threaten that he would "take away any graduate student's Ph.D. if they used the word data as a singular."
Proper usage of the word data is in the plural:
- The data are very hard to gather
- The findings follow directly from the data. They unambiguous support our hypotheses
I'm wondering though how you refer to data in the following sentence, "The analysis using the data should go quickly since I am familiar with them (??)"
I'm not sure how to correctly refer to data in the above sentence. Most people (including myself), find it hard to use the first two examples correctly. This last example seems even trickier.
Does anyone have advice on the right way to refer to data in the above sentence?