Data are a plural

Here’s a quick rant. Data is a plural, so you should use the plural words around it to be correct. Datum is the singular.

I’ve devised a cunning method to determine if you’re using the right plurality in a sentence. Just substitute ‘bananas’ for ‘data’ to see if you’re right.

An example: ‘This data is a pile of crap’, no longer makes sense with bananas;
‘this bananas is a pile of crap’. Clearly wrong.

These data are a pile of crap, is more correct. I’d be so much happier if everyone knew this. Some things are important to engineers.

EB

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About evcricket

Extreme gardener, engineer and bird nerd.
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7 Responses to Data are a plural

  1. SM says:

    I suspect I’m one of the offenders. oops

  2. Michelle says:

    Nerd, oh bless me!

  3. Peter says:

    Might be nice to allow some embedded HTML tags in comments!

    The <img src> tag I’d put in that then got promptly stripped pointed at this gem: http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

  4. Peter says:

    hmmm………that reminds me of this:

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