Sometimes a Plural is a Singular

rogersgeorge on November 18th, 2017

Usually a plural is a plural. Simple enough. For example there’s this:

Our sanctioned cloud services contain sensitive and confidential information, from customer information to partner information…

Services is a plural, right? So you use a plural verb, in this case “contain.” But what if that plural is part of the name of something? Take this headline, for example:

Amazon Web Services Adds New Services to Bolster Cloud Security

And inside the article,

The company is launching the new Amazon Web Services (AWS)…In total, AWS is adding five new encryption and security features to S3 to help protect cloud storage, including default encryption, permission checks, cross-region replication access control list overwrite, cross-region replication with KMS (Key Management Service) and a detailed inventory report.

Turns out that Amazon has a department (or team, or something) named “AWS” for “Amazon Web Services.” So when you write about the whole named organization, you have a singular!

So heads up: Think about what you’re writing about!

And now I’m going to throw you a curve: “United States,” is is singular or plural?

Well, it’s singular now. Back in Abe Lincoln’s day and earlier, it was plural. People would say “these United States” instead of “the United States.” Hmm.

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