Mirrorless shipments surge....

Started Nov 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Eamon Hickey Veteran Member • Posts: 3,513
I'm sloppy here :-) ... but

MichaelKJ wrote:

Eamon, I find it interesting that some people refer to data in the singular (e.g., CIPA data does not), whereas others consider data plural and datum singular. Not surprisingly, academic researchers are real sticklers about this, and would argue that one should, for example, say CIPA data do not. Since you write professionally, and extremely well, I was wondering what your thoughts are about the proper usage of this word.

The real answer is that I've been winging it (which actually surprises me given that I've been writing for a living for 15 years, including lots of writing for financial firms where data are (pl. :-)) their daily bread).

But I do allow myself to write less carefully here -- I often notice, after the fact, misplaced commas etc., or even unclear sentences, when I post here. I'm chagrined when I see it, but it inexplicably keeps happening.

However, prompted by your post, I found an excellent discussion of plural vs. singular data by a guest writer at The Grammar Girl, which says, as is often the case in English, that more than one rule is acceptable.

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/is-data-singular-or-plural

Ultimately, I think the singular usage sounds more natural to me and flows more smoothly in most sentences.

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