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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
3answers
137 views

What is the term for a group of liches?

What is the term for a group of liches? In fantasy fiction, a lich (/ˈlɪtʃ/; cognate to Dutch lijk, German Leiche, Norse lík and Swedish lik all meaning "corpse") is a type of undead creature. ...
1
vote
4answers
72 views

What do you call a group (collective noun) of programmers?

What do you call a group (collective noun) of programmers? I've raise this questions on programmers group but nobody could give me a definitive answer. Probably the ones that make sense are ...
-1
votes
1answer
39 views

Collective Noun: Is the possessive with “children” singular or plural? [duplicate]

Which is preferred: Children will have their picture displayed. OR Children will have their pictures displayed. The actually photographs of children not drawings
30
votes
5answers
2k views

Terms for collections of animals

As I watched the murder of crows sitting on the line above my house this evening, I got wondering where all of the collective nouns for animals (pod of whales, gaggle of geese, pride of lions) came ...
1
vote
2answers
510 views

“Sport” vs “Sports” Origin

I was recently reading this article on the use of "math" vs. "maths" as a collective noun (Americans use the former, Brits the latter). However, the trend seen in "math/maths" is reversed in ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Hoard of bugs was/were squashed? [duplicate]

Is hoard of bugs to be treated as singular or plural? ...and what we mean by that is that a hoard of bugs were squashed relentlessly in this release ...and what we mean by that is that a ...
0
votes
0answers
9 views

Has and have usage difference [duplicate]

Three teenage boys have now been released on bail, the London Metropolitan Police have stated. Why it is not "Police has stated"?
46
votes
3answers
3k views

Etymology of “a pride of lions”

Etymonline does not hesitate to assume that "a pride of lions" is the same word as pride, noun of adjective proud. There would be other possibilities, e.g. a connection with Latin praeda (prey). A ...
5
votes
1answer
509 views

Are “streak” and “ambush” really the collective nouns for tigers?

I am interested in British English collective nouns for tiger. The wikipedia offers "streak" and "ambush". However, when I search google ngrams I get nothing at all for "streak of tigers" or "ambush ...
0
votes
0answers
125 views

Is there a collective term for restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs?

I'm looking for a parent category name for restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs? If the category had included hotels i'd have called it hospitality... but it doesn't.
3
votes
3answers
1k views
-2
votes
2answers
85 views

Nouns and pronouns [closed]

When I am writing about the United States and refer to "the states", do I say: "states began using their police powers" or "states began using its police powers"?
0
votes
0answers
9 views

Is it “brown bowl set” or “brown bowls set”? [duplicate]

I'm struggling to find a reason for making it "brown bowl set" without the plural? Please note that this is just a product description on an e-commerce site and the phrase won't be used in a full ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Collective word for these people

I am looking for a word to describe people such as barber, ironsmith, tailor, carpenter etc. People with miscellaneous specialty who would move to a village to serve others who are normally into ...
5
votes
7answers
7k 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"?
0
votes
2answers
75 views

word describing name and birthday collectively

i'm looking for a word that would exclusively denote the person's name and birth data it should be analogous with words such as contacts denoting entities such as email, phone number, address ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Collective noun for words that describe something they themself contain or are

Is there a collective noun for words that describe something that this word itself contains or is? Here are some examples of what I mean: ‘noun’ is a noun itself; ‘háček’ contains a letter with a ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Using 'her' vs. 'its' to refer to a country

I am currently reading Liddell Hart's "History of the Second World War", and I'm wondering why he sometimes uses her/she when talking about Japan. In my understanding of English, it should be its or ...
1
vote
3answers
70 views

Collective term for physical as opposed to virtual (digital) destinations

I am looking for a word or phrase that encapsulates the following collection of nouns in the sense that they are all physical, proper entities, and that you can go inside them: Words that apply to ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Is “Were there cattle on the road?” grammatically correct?

Is Were there cattle on the road? grammatically correct? What is the rule regarding the usage of was and were around collective nouns ?
4
votes
3answers
513 views

Collective noun for lightning(s) / thunderbolts

What is the collective noun for lightning(s) / thunderbolts? A ________ of thunderbolts/lightning(s) Can we use the plural form of lightning with a collective noun? Or should it stay in ...
11
votes
4answers
13k views

What is the collective noun for a group of scorpions?

I was reading Walter O'Brien's AMA on Reddit and came across this: oscarveli: How did you choose your hacker name? O'Brien: It was chosen for me in high school as I was a very docile person ...
-1
votes
1answer
105 views

American English: collective noun + verb when collective noun is plural? [duplicate]

I'm struggling with grammar and the name of a group of clinics; let's say that there are five dental clinics colocated in the same building, and the name of that group is Foo Dental Clinics. There's a ...
7
votes
13answers
4k views

What is a group of cars on the road called?

For rental agencies and companies, the cars owned would be a fleet. Several cars escorting a VIP would be a motorcade. However, what if I want to say: I dislike being the lone driver in an empty ...
35
votes
9answers
38k views

Are collective nouns always plural, or are certain ones singular?

I'd say Microsoft have a way of bending the rules and I know that McLaren have won the championship. While this sounds strange, I believe it is correct English (sorry, I'm not native). But when it's ...
1
vote
5answers
337 views

Word for a group of similar photos?

Is there a single word or phrase that means a group of very similar photos, such as when a photographer takes a burst of 7-8 shots with the hope of catching the right instant, or to get the best ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Can more options use “is”

So I've been learning German on Duolingo (great app by the way if you want to learn a language). I know you guys don't want translations here, but this is more about the English. Of course, not all ...
1
vote
3answers
95 views

What word means a “collection of diaries”?

I like to collect diaries but I couldn’t find any word for this hobby nor for what a collection of diaries is called. If anyone knows please share.
10
votes
6answers
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
17
votes
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Plural/singular form for a company in American English? [duplicate]

Somewhere on the internet a guy claims that in American English it's proper to use the singular form for conjugating the predicate of group terms such as company, band, team etc. In British English, ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Can collective nouns technically refer to only one noun?

For those who don't know, collective nouns are words like "family" that refer to a group of things. As I understand it, "stuff" is also a collective noun; that is confirmed by this question. ...
2
votes
4answers
308 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
277 views

Can I say “stuffs” as a plural noun?

I know that "stuff" is a collective noun, but other collective nouns like "family" can be pluralized, but "stuffs" doesn't sound quite right to me. However, the spell check on my browser says that ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
2k views

Family go vs family goes? [duplicate]

I am wondering which one is current? -my family go... - my family goes... Which is correct?
0
votes
2answers
83 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
109 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
169 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.
5
votes
8answers
599 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
votes
2answers
300 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
119 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
206 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
votes
2answers
168 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
vote
5answers
344 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
vote
1answer
447 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
votes
0answers
4k 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? ...