Inverneill House (off-topic grammar divergence comment)

Volleyballjerry

Message 60188 · 4 Jan 2011 18:06:47 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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In a message dated 1/4/2011 5:30:51 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
xxxxxxxx.xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xx.xx writes:

The BBC are showing a TV programme...
I have now long noticed this particular divergence between British and
American English, which seems to be a strong trend more than anything black
and white, but "the BBC are..." seems fairly typically British from what I
have seen and heard and yet still nowadays is somewhat jarring to the ears
and eyes of Americans, who would much more typically write or say "the BBC is
showing..." given that the BBC is a singular entity and that the "C" is
Corporation. I noticed the same regarding news writing spoken reporting
about William and Kate, the couple are/is planning or expecting to do this or
that or that the couple plan/plans or expect/expects, whatever the verb may
have been, a plural verb in the British usage, a singular one in the
American. I also recall somebody's recent Strathspey post from Britain using a
plural verb with "the RSCDS," and it was, even while recognizing this as
typical nowadays, not to mention most likely considered completely correct and
appropriate, per British usage, very jarring to me as an American to read
that "the RSCDS are" (or whatever the plural verb used at the time may have
been). I don't know when this typical divergence of usage may have first
occurred. I can only assume that the British usage, now, as I have found,
quite universal and typical for Britain (and perhaps elsewhere as well in
the English-speaking world), is the more recently evolved usage and the more
typically American usage the more traditional, as a singular noun, even a
collective singular noun, traditionally in English grammar requires a
third-person singular verb.

Robb Quint
Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

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