Monday, November 5, 2007

PURDUE GAME

From Sunday's Lafayette Journal/Courier, "For most of the first half, a typically strong group of defenders were not on the same page." A group WERE??? But a group is a singular entity. True, it is comprised of more than one, but the word is singular, therefore a group WAS. And furthermore, the group was not on the same page as what? As each other? As some other group? Clarification required, people!

6 comments:

LCC said...

I'm going with the writer of the article on this one. Since the defenders, who are typically a strong group, were not, at least in this game, "on the same page," I'd say that means they were acting more as individuals than as a group and go with the plural agreement, since the effect of the sentence is the same as saying "the separate members of the group of defenders WERE not on the same page."

Dr. Zoom said...

I agree with lcc, as the members of the collective are specifically noted as acting individually.

Julia said...

In British English - the correct form after all ;-) the plural "were" is correct.

Andy Ray said...

Julia,

I still don't agree with you on "the group were," but I absolutely LOVE your blog, Strage Things I Have Seen!

ds said...

Yikes! "Comprised of"?
The whole comprises the parts and a whole is composed of parts.

Darla said...

Yep: group nouns can be either singular or plural in American usage, depending upon what one wishes to convey. The article's author was correct in his choice.