Questions or inquiries relating to nouns that refer to a group as a whole.

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0answers
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Can 'trains' be used as a synonym for 'postponement'

Was solving a cryptic crossword clue recently which reads Coaches for postponement (6) The answer is 'trains' obvious from coaches , but dont get the postponement reference. The solution ...
1
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3answers
156 views

Collective term for data sizes (bytes, kilobytes, megabytes etc.)

As you will probably work out from my profile, I'm a software developer. This is sort of a software development question, but I think this is more suited to English language too. Feel free to migrate ...
0
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0answers
39 views

Family go vs family goes? [duplicate]

I am wondering which one is current? -my family go... - my family goes... Which is correct?
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2answers
61 views

“Led Zeppelin was” vs. “Led Zeppelin were” [duplicate]

Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. (Source.) Is "were" really the right word here? It feels like it should be "was". After reading the answers and my own ...
2
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1answer
36 views

Question on usage of “clientele”

Between these two sentences, which (if either) is correct in American English: Our clientele range from a small non-profit to a billion dollar corporation... or Our clientele ranges from a ...
17
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4answers
2k views

Surely *some* wordsmiths must love America[ns]?

People who like/admire English or French (the languages and/or the people and their culture) are easily identified as Anglophiles or Francophiles. I'm not sure there are so many Germanophiles, but ...
5
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8answers
438 views

Is there a single word which means “a person, and all of his ancestors”, or “a person, and all of his descendants”?

There are a lot of words describing ancestral relationships between people, such as: parent grandparent great-grandparent any of the above can be described as an "ancestor". child grandchild ...
0
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2answers
112 views

What is a collective noun for “a set of policies”?

I'm having trouble find a collective noun (or similar word) that describes a "set or collection of [business] policies" for some documentation I'm writing for my domain of work (without going into ...
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2answers
89 views

What does an atomizer spray?

What does an atomizer spray? A spritz? A drop? Something else? I'm helping a friend write marketing copy, and we'd like to give the instruction "spray two drops onto your hand", and we would ...
2
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3answers
99 views

Singular of “folks”?

It has been suggested to me that "fellow" is the corresponding singular version of the word "folks" in the context of "hey folks" or "listen folks" but it doesn't have the same gender neutrality.
2
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1answer
87 views

Is this mixture of plural and singular legitimate?

But what is most important for our purposes is that these changes were the signal for the resumption of historical debate on a grand scale, of the kind that had been suspended or driven ...
0
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2answers
105 views

“Most of our generation only knows/know him by repute.”

I stumbled at this construction today. Usually I have an intuition of English grammar from past reading that serves me well - but this time both of the versions sound right. "Most of our generation" ...
1
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5answers
180 views

singular and collective noun for included computer source code

In software development, one often has multiple individual files that are referenced or "included" by others. What is the noun for each one of those individual files, and what would you call the ...
1
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1answer
256 views

Is there a word that means pants and/or shorts, or dresses and/or skirts?

In Chinese apparently there is an extra character added for long/short pants and half/full dress. And footwear applies to sandals, boots, sneakers, etc. Is there an English word that means pants ...
0
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0answers
1k views

“India have won” vs. “India has won” [duplicate]

I would like to know when to use singular or plural verb agreement when talking about a country. E.g., India have won the match. India has won the match. Which statement is grammatical? ...
1
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2answers
607 views

“A majority of those whose family” or “families”

Is "family" both plural and singular? or would I have to say families for the plural form? For example, which of these is the best option: "A majority of those whose family were unaware of their ...
3
votes
2answers
533 views

When ordering coffee, do you say “two milks” or “two milk”?

I've already searched the site if this question had been asked before however I didn't find anything related to my question. Every time I order coffee some people sort of correct me by saying 2 milks ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

“There is a plethora…” or “There are a plethora…”? [duplicate]

A simple question that has sparked some debate, and I couldn't find a concrete answer anywhere. There seems to be two camps: The word plethora indicates plural, so therefore it should be "There are a ...
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2answers
2k views

Is “fireworks” singular or plural?

As I understand, when referring to a single concept, one would use "ham and cheese is", but "fruit and nuts are". Now, can one have a single firework, or is/are fireworks simultaneously singular and ...
0
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2answers
947 views

If collective nouns use the plural verb form, are they plural in other contexts too? [closed]

According to Wikipedia, in British English, it is generally accepted that collective nouns can take either singular or plural verb forms. How does this affect their property of being singular or ...
2
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2answers
547 views

Singular or plural verb after collective noun initialism

Are companies/groups of people considered plural? What about their initialisms? I'm unsure if I should use have (plural verb) or has (singular) in the following situations: The Federal Bureau ...
1
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1answer
141 views

Is there a collective term for charges & fees?

Say I have documentation of a particular account with both amounts credited & amounts charged(fees). What would be an appropriately descriptive term for the collection of credits & ...
10
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5answers
2k views

Collective Noun for Fire

What is the collective noun for fire? A ____ of fires. To clarify: This is actually a school curriculum text question and I have never heard of such a collective noun. This is an example I can ...
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3answers
2k views

Is “school” a collective noun? [closed]

Identify the collective noun in the sentence: "Students have to take their entire school books home on the last day of school." I couldn't find any credible sources stating that "school" is a ...
4
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2answers
655 views

Does modifying a collective noun with a number make the subject plural?

The word dozen is a collective noun, i.e., singular when we think of them as groups and plural when we think of the individuals acting within the whole. So we might say: Talking about eggs: "A ...
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3answers
2k views

Collective nouns and subject-verb agreement: general rule or arbitrary?

A newspaper ran this headline recently: (1) Police crack down on IAC protesters. [emph added] Why did it not read: (2) ? Police cracks down on IAC protesters. I have found instances of ...
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1answer
1k views

Collective noun “police” — singular or plural? [closed]

A newspaper ran this headline today: Police crack down on IAC protesters. Isn't the following more appropriate? Police cracks down on IAC protesters.
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6answers
651 views

youngest of his siblings [closed]

I have a problem with this sentence: He was one of the youngest of his siblings. The meaning should be clear: he had many brothers and sisters, and he was one of the youngest of the lot, but the ...
1
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1answer
904 views

Pronouns for collective nouns (British and American)

British and American English differ in the way they conjugate verbs for collective nouns: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=877. For example, an American would probably say "China is winning" ...
4
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5answers
500 views

Accurate British English term for an oblong deck from shore out into a lake where you tie your rowing boat

This is a typical image of the structure in question: There are also some variations, shown in this Google image search. But I'm after the often not very wide, some 20-30 feet long wood ...
0
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2answers
281 views

Destroy or Destroys [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is a company always plural, or are small companies singular? I came across a mocked up newspaper article earlier and there was a discussion about whether the following ...
2
votes
4answers
228 views

Word for “a group of contests”

What is a word for a group of contests? It doesn't necessarily have to be a real word, just something that's concise and obvious, possibly something like decathlon but for an indeterminate number of ...
4
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2answers
1k views

When did “crew” become a sport? When did “crew team” come into use?

When I was a child, there was a sport called rowing; if four or more people rowed together in the same boat, they would be known as a crew. At some point, either before or during my childhood, the ...
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4answers
2k views

What do you call someone with the same occupation as you, but works for a different company?

What do you call someone who works in the same field or occupation as you do, but in a different company or organization?
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3answers
493 views

Two word phrase to refer to community of people who come together to exchange knowledge [closed]

I need a two word phrase to refer to a community of people (academia + non-academia) who come together to share/exchange their knowledge/ideas openly on topics of their interests/ specializations. I ...
3
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2answers
5k views
2
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8answers
561 views

Collective noun for “facts”

I'm looking to refer to a group of facts and I'm not sure what the best term to use for them would be. From what I can tell there isn't any sort of standard collective noun for facts, so it's going ...
25
votes
9answers
1k views

What is a collective term for castles, citadels, forts, palaces etc.?

We at Travel-SE are having an ongoing tag reorganization, and we're trying to find a collective term that encompasses the following: castles châteaux (which are really castles, but not every castle ...
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5answers
4k views

What is the collective noun for “clouds”?

I've been looking at various forums with people proposing suggestions, but is there a consensus on what the collective noun is for "clouds"?
3
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5answers
2k views

What is the “group name” for students who entered / left university in the same year?

For example, I entered my university in 2006, so I am a student of "grade 2006" (a direct translation from my own language). What is the proper English? Besides, I need the word for students ...
7
votes
3answers
294 views

Is ‘USAers’ just an ordinary English word today?

I saw the word, ‘USAers’ in the lead copy of Reuter’s news titled ‘Gippered’ in Time magazine (September 6), which says: “More than 1/3 of USAers say they are worse off under Bam. Warning-sign ...
2
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2answers
25k views

Is “group” singular or plural? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is a company always plural, or are small companies singular? When I'm referring to a group of multiple things, should it be considered singular or plural for the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Etymology of seemingly weird collective nouns [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Terms for collections of animals In the collective names unkindness of ravens, shrewdness of apes, murder of crows, I cannot find any remote relation to a group. What is ...
7
votes
7answers
538 views

Are there meta-plurals beyond “peoples”?

The plural of "person" is "people". The plural of "people" is "peoples". Person-people-peoples is the only sequence like this that I know of, but I'm looking for another. (The equivalent question ...
9
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15answers
3k views

Simple word related to “a group of intellectuals” or “a group of smart learners”

What could be a good word for "a group of intellectuals" or "a group of smart learners"? Any suggestions of related terms also invited.
3
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3answers
1k views

What is the collective noun for a collection of collective nouns? [closed]

murder : crows :: _ : collective nouns Sorry, no multiple choice this time.
3
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6answers
4k views

In special cases, can you use “one such family are” vs. “one such family is”?

Is it correct to say "one such family are..." as opposed to "one such family is..." in some circumstances? Say, for instance, as used in this article on gene families: [...] One such family are ...
18
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4answers
3k views

A murder of crows?

I love the subset of collective nouns known as the terms of venery. These are collective nouns specific to a particular group of animals. Some of the more inventive examples are: a murder of crows, a ...
1
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3answers
296 views

“Much feces” vs. “many feces”

I want to know which word I should use in the following sentence: How many/much feces does a human produce in one year? I found that both versions exist on the Internet. Any help would be ...
6
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4answers
6k views

Which is correct: “All the media is” or “all the media are”?

I think I know that media is a plural word. So then which of the following is correct? All the media is... All the media are... When you search Google, both seem to appear at the same ...