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What about "youth"? As in: "The youth of today is highly interconnected in many ways." vs. "The youth of today are highly interconnected in many ways."

  • CDO has: youth noun (YOUNG PEOPLE) B1 [U, + sing/pl verb] ​young ​people, both ​male and ​female, ​considered as a ​group. >> It licenses either a singular or a plural verb. But the choice isn't totally free. And I think 'youth' is a tricky case. You'd use 'are' if you're considering individual members, but 'is' if you're considering the group as a whole, almost a ... – Edwin Ashworth Mar 8 '16 at 23:18
  • gestalt. I'd probably choose 'are' here (The young folk of today are highly interconnected ...), but can imagine some cases where it could be a lot trickier to decide (The youth of today is/are given too much freedom). – Edwin Ashworth Mar 8 '16 at 23:18
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Some nouns refer to multiple things but are still treated as one entity (for example, a pair of scissors).

Although "the youth of today" refers to multiple people, youth is still a singular noun naming a single entity, so you'd use "is".

Note that you could, if you wanted, also say

The youths of today are highly interconnected in many ways.

but this would be awkward by virtue of "the youth of today" being a commonly-used and popular phrase.

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  • CDO says that 'youth' may be followed by either a singular or plural verb-form. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 8 '16 at 23:22

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