data — The word typically takes singular verbs and pronouns when writing for general audiences and in data journalism contexts: The data is sound. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. It depends. always plural. Have you ever wondered if you should use singular or plural pronouns for a company? In its traditional sense, meaning a collection of facts and figures, the noun can still be plural: They tabulate the data, which arrive from bookstores nationwide. Mass nouns, on the other hand, are used for things that don't have a natural boundary and can't be counted. A.Ala. If you’re required to follow APA style, use APA’s guidance, which is to treat data as plural in all contexts. Find it. However, in nonscientific use, data often functions as a singular noun, in much the same way we use words like information or knowledge. Another helpful hint to remember is that the term data set is two words, but database is one word: It remains unlikely that the current empirical database could support such analyses. However, you might see data treated as a singular noun, and you might have wondered whether that’s correct. Right: A thousand bushels is a good yield. If you’re required to follow AP Style, use AP’s guidance, which is to treat data as singular in nonscientific contexts and plural in scientific contexts. 1.According to 2014 and subsequent AP style, the abbreviation for Alabama, when used in text after the name of a city, is _____. “In general writing, if information won’t work because you’re using data as a mass noun to mean ‘information collected in a scientific way,’ data can be singular; however, in scientific writing, always treat data as plural.” In scientific and academic writing, plural verbs and pronouns are preferred.” (As a bonus, “Use databank and database, but … AP style does not use the serial comma, while Chicago style does. Change ). American Psychological Association Publication Manual, You can read some of the Twitter responses for yourself, Media: Singular or Plural? Plural nouns take plural verbs, so data should be followed by a plural verb. Cite it. Data is traditionally the plural of datum. (In my last post, I talked about media, which is also in flux and can function as either a singular or plural noun. Keep in mind that most of the time the plural form data should be used. (A unit.) I'm a copyeditor and proofreader available for hire. Data is often treated as a plural noun in writing related to science, mathematics, finance, and computing. In English, however, the word is uncountable, i.e. To help clear up any confusion regarding the proper use of these terms, I list examples of datum and data being used correctly below: Although we have compiled the results, these data are the focus of another report and are not described here. This view is based on a misunderstanding of how English … The data was corrupted.” By contrast, the AP’s style book advises reporters to treat data as a plural noun in most cases: GBU Editor Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. A.may be either singular or plural, depending on context. In one sense, data is the plural form of datum. However, you might see data treated as a singular noun, and you might have wondered whether that’s correct. A reader asks: What's AP Style for data, singular or plural? Learn more at or email me at If each datum collected is a fact, and we put all the facts together into a single collection of facts, then data is singular. But some proper names that are plural in form take a singular verb: Brooks Brothers is holding a sale. ), Merriam-Webster calls data “plural in form but singular or plural in construction.”Â. Sometimes, though, treating “data” as a singular or plural noun comes down to personal preference. Use databank and database, but data processing (n. and adj.) This singular plural difference is one that we see reflected in a number of other nouns in English. -- It depends on the meaning of the sentence, and it depends on whether you’re required to follow a style guide. In every other one of the 53 mentions, the United States is a singular entity — a novel idea in 1787. Therefore, when referring to the collective results, be sure to use the plural form: The data challenge the notion that more directive questions are necessary when interviewing children who have mild intellectual disabilities. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. We hope these examples help to clear up any confusion regarding the proper use of data. « All or None | If you need a plural form, use "data sets." (Individual items.) C.Don’t abbreviate a state name after a city. Data is traditionally the plural of datum. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. However, if you still have questions, feel free to leave a comment. “Data” is now acceptable by many usage authorities as both a plural and a singular noun, though others, including the Associated Press Style Book, accept “data” as a singular only as a collective noun. Main Consider this sentence: “Self-reported data (is/are) historically unreliable.” “Data” could be used as either a singular or plural noun in the sentence, and both choices would make sense and be grammatically acceptable. Questions? However, it is still acceptable to treat "data" as plural. The general rule to follow is that when the noun that follows all or none is singular, you should use a singular verb; when the noun is plural, you should use a plural verb (for additional information on collective nouns, see the supplemental materials to the Publication Manual). What Qualifies as a Table or a Figure in APA Style? in Grammar and usage, Spelling, Technorati Tags: Key passages from the new entry include: They, them, their — In most cases, a plural pronoun should agree in number with the antecedent: The children love the books their uncle gave … My concern is that “google translate”, which truly sucks, stubbornly uses a singular verb in translations, although the noun is clearly plural, e.g. I'm a proofreader and copyeditor who likes talkin' language. It depends. ( Log Out /  2.According to AP style, the word “alumni” _____. Leave a comment or email me at Data. Data points to? So, if you naturally treat "data" as singular, then stick with that. I mean, sort of. The addition is immediately available to AP Stylebook Online subscribers and will be included in the new print edition of the Stylebook when it is published on May 31. Right: A thousand bushels were created. (A unit.) PLURAL IN FORM: Some words that are plural in form become collective nouns and take singular verbs when the group or quantity is regarded as a unit. As noted in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual (p. 79), the plural form of some nouns of foreign origin—particularly those that end in the letter a—may appear to be singular and can cause authors to select a verb that does not agree in number with the noun. The general guideline is to use the singular personal pronoun it to refer to a company or similar organization.This post explains the reasoning behind this guideline—and then shares two situations when you may want to use plural first-person pronouns (we, us, our, ourselves) or plural third-person … Here’s the entry: data is acceptable as a singular term for information: The data was persuasive. The data have been carefully collected. The patient data are sorted in Table 1. The Seventh Edition of the Publication Manual Is Available for Preorder! View all posts by Dave Nelsen. For example: Fiona will finish her story on Toledo voter demographics as soon the data comes in.Leonard says the economy is on its way up, but the data indicates otherwise.Management at the Schmiegal Corporation doesn’t know what next steps should be, because the data is still being examined. It states, “ (Data) typically takes singular verbs and pronouns when writing for general audiences and in data journalism contexts: The data is sound. As shown in the Publication Manual (p. 96), the word datum is singular, and the word data is plural. Examples of both terms being used correctly are listed below: It depends on the meaning of the sentence, and it … Then there are the ones stuck in the middle. The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, usually called the AP Stylebook, is an English grammar style and usage guide created by American journalists working for or connected with the Associated Press over the last century to standardize mass communications. There’s nothing wrong with saying “Informationen” in German or “informations” in French, both being the plural form of “information”. In scientific use, data typically functions as the plural of datum. Data points to strengthening growth, jobs. Making a case for a singular ‘they’. The answer is, sure. The Macquarie Dictionary says: ‘The connection between data the plural and datum the singular has been almost completely broken, so that while datum survives in such compounds as datum point, it does not have the frequency of use that data has. How to Cite a Government Report in APA Style, How to Cite Edition, Volume, and Page Numbers for Books. and data center. AP Stylebook 2016 updates include normcore, kombucha and emoji (‘plural: emojis’) If you’re not beholden to a style guide, do whatever you want. Plural. This week, we address another item on the list of APA Style points that writers find most challenging (on the basis of the article by Onwuegbuzie, Combs, Slate, & Frels, 2010; also see their guest post to our blog): the misuse of the word data. Duh! ¶ It is the indispensable reference for writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers, and publishers, informing the editorial canon with sound, definitive advice. Yes, I know, this is a plural noun. British and American style guides tend to agree that collective nouns like audience, committee, and data can be construed as either singular or plural, according to whether the word is perceived as a unit or as individual items. ( Log Out /  Count nouns can be singular or plural, and when you use them as the subject of a sentence, the verb must correctly reflect that number, as in The last apple IS on the bottom shelf or The eggs ARE fresh. ‘Data’: The English Singular Meaning ‘Information’ But I bet that sounds weird to a lot of you because since the 1940s, people have been using “data” as a singular noun more and more often, especially in general writing. Datum actually can also be a count noun with the plural datums (see usage in datum article) that can be used with cardinal numbers (e.g., "80 datums"); data (originally a Latin plural) is not used like a normal count noun with cardinal numbers and can be plural with such plural determiners as these and many or as an uncountable noun with a verb in the singularform. Allison. It is often taught that data (like media or spectra) is a plural word (the singular is ‘datum’). For example: Dr. Kreitlow is supposed to present her findings next week, but her data are incomplete.The data have been collected, and the research team has begun analyzing them.We’d like to learn more about Venezuelan tree frog population, but very few data are available. there is no plural form of it. This convention is well established and widely followed in both edited and unedited writing. Elsewhere, most English speakers treat it as a singular mass noun. – The Grammar Geek's Blog, Follow The Grammar Geek's Blog on, Hysterical and Hysteria: Their History and a Word of Caution, Beginning Sentences With ‘And,’ ‘But’ and â€˜Because’. Once the plural forms of datum and medium, data and media have transformed into mass nouns: singular terms, like furniture or work or luck, that … This is how the American Psychological Association Publication Manual says data should be treated. It’s not the first plural Latin noun to decide that it might be happier as a singular either. But as a collective noun, it's singular: The data is sound. Posted by Claire Merenda at 04:42:25 PM Also called the “Oxford comma,” this term refers to a comma that separates the penultimate item in a list from the final item introduced by a conjunction (and or or). ‘Data’: The Latin Plural of ‘Datum” The word “data” comes to English from Latin, in which “datum” is the singular and “data” is the plural. APA Style, data, datum, grammar, How to Cite Materials From Meetings and Symposia », Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS), Archiving the Sixth Edition APA Style Blog, Introducing the 7th Edition of the Publication Manual. Usually a plural noun taking plural verbs and pronouns. Write it. Ex: AP:She bought butter, sugar and jam. The Reuters style guide recognizes that, but adds: “treat as if it were singular, e.g. The AP editors entered the singular data guidance in 2019, and there have been grumblings since then. You can read some of the Twitter responses for yourself. As it says in The Chicago Manual of Style, “a singular verb emphasizes the group; a plural verb emphasizes the individual members.”. ( Log Out /  The Chicago Manual of Style Online is the venerable, time-tested guide to style, usage, and grammar in an accessible online format. B.AL. But AP is simply updating its style to reflect modern usage, and modern usage changes, like it or not. In scientific and academic writing, plural verbs and pronouns are preferred. The Times’s stylebook allows “data” with either a plural or a singular verb. always singular Data is a Latin plural with a singular datum though datum is seldom used on its own any more. Plural nouns take plural verbs, so data should be followed by a plural verb. ¶ Over 1.5 million copies sold! Scientific results are built upon testing things multiple times across multiple people, and we draw conclusions from the aggregate, not the individual, data points. I mean, sort of. As shown in the Publication Manual (p. 96), the word datum is singular, and the word data is plural. This is how the Associated Press Stylebook says data should be treated in nonscientific contexts. The word "data" is best described as in transition from a plural word to a singular one. Even when a very small quantity of data is referenced (one number, for example), the phrase piece of d… The answer is, sure. Chicago:She bought butter, sugar, and jam. | How to Cite Materials From Meetings and Symposia ». When to Include Page Numbers in a Reference List Entry, The Relation of Tables and Figures With Text. The singular form already expresses the same idea as “informations” in other languages: This is certainly the case with the word data. To help clear up any confusion regarding the proper use of these terms, I list examples of … Keep in mind, though, that some people consider the singular data incorrect. In most contexts, the word data refers to specific numerical results and should therefore be treated as a plural count noun, with a corresponding plural verb form. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. ( Log Out /