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

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30
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9answers
27k 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 ...
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 ...
26
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 ...
18
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
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.
9
votes
4answers
3k 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?
7
votes
3answers
312 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
644 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
6
votes
13answers
531 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
5k 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"?
5
votes
8answers
496 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
651 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
285 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 singular ...
4
votes
2answers
855 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
877 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views
3
votes
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
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
762 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
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
8answers
692 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
244 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
278 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 ...
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
2answers
654 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Conjugating verbs for nouns referring to groups of people [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is staff plural? Frequently when reading tech articles, I see sentences like "Microsoft have released ..." or "Apple have announced ...". This seems wrong to me because ...
2
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
123 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
votes
2answers
34k 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 ...
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
3answers
318 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
5answers
170 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
240 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
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
596 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
63 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.
1
vote
3answers
102 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
329 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
66 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
161 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 & ...