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

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3
votes
2answers
92 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
42 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
71 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
390 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
7k 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
53 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
1k 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 ...
30
votes
9answers
30k 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
224 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
67 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
72 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
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 ...
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, ...
5
votes
6answers
6k 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
51 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
276 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
141 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
87 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
1k 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
77 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
75 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
132 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
540 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
215 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
109 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
7k 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 ...
30
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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
156 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
137 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
265 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
371 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
3k 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? ...
3
votes
2answers
899 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
316 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the plural of “copy” when applied to the output of copywriters?

If a Copywriter produces several articles for printing, what are his works collectively known as? I feel the answer is not copies as this would indicate it is several articles reproduced from an ...
0
votes
2answers
1k 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
votes
2answers
703 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
1k 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
vote
3answers
326 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
176 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 & ...
-1
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
985 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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.
1
vote
1answer
1k 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
votes
5answers
709 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 ...