What has happened to Nikon?

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
shigzeo Senior Member • Posts: 1,886
Re: OT -- Re: singular vs. plural

GroWeb wrote:

shigzeo ? wrote:

Nikon is to Canon as Canon is to Nikon. (Add 'are' for English speakers. Remember, I'm drunk. My arguments return to base sentiments as my blood flows black (the Sambuca is black).)

[Rant/] Thanks for highlighting one of the grammatical things that annoy me the most. Proper nouns like "Nikon" and "Canon" are singular not plural; these are individual companies' names and are the precise grammatical equivalent of individual people's names (note: legally, a company is treated as a person). Therefore it is correct to say "Nikon is ..." and incorrect to say "Nikon are ..." [/Rant]

Unlike many people, your grammar apparently improves when you are intoxicated.

This is also an arguable point; grammar is fluid from region to region. Sentences in English tend to run longer. Americans meander with pronunciation, but tend to prefer shorter sentences. It's all fluid. Even moving across the border to Canada will show up differences from what is typified as "North American English".

Corporations/companies are treated as groups, hence 'are' in certain places in the world; in others, they are singular. There is no fast rule that spans the continents.

EDIT: I noticed that you are from Canada. In which case, you should notice that Canadian English has gone through vast changes in the last 100 years. A century ago, Canada practiced a more nebulous English. It was spelled like English and used many English idioms and patterns. Fast forward to the end of WWII and Canadian English had pretty much switched to American.

Still, English influenced places in Canada still use English patterns. Technically, a company can be referred to as an inanimate object or a group, and the singular is used. When referring to the individuals in the company, or team, or country, electorate, etc., you can use plural, too. Only the author knows what they mean. Or, plural can be 'incorrect' as it should refer to members in the group, but if we are going to knock on grammar doors, might as well hammer everything out there.

It's the internet, not a university paper. Grammar on the screen is just a computer extrapolating the chaos of a person's typing into legible words. Or, illegible words. I'm not sure which it is in my case.

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