Subject: Re: less parentheses --> fewer parentheses From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 2000/08/25 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * thi <firstname.lastname@example.org> | *bing* (sound of lightbulb): is this related to other singular-plural | localisms? to me the sentence "sun microsystems have released a chip" | sounds odd (i would use "has") but apparently this is the norm for many. One of the first things you learn when you try to figure out what's wrong with British English¹, aside from misspelling -ize as -ise, is that the British see plurals a in unexpected places. The British are more true to the _lexical_ plural in their grammar. Americans consider named groups a singular and have a much more abstract understanding of how plural forms really are singular referents. American English also tends to omit words more than British, and this means you end up with grammatical forms that are valid only _after_ the omitted words have been reintroduced. In British, it seems the grammar applies to the remaining words, even though it makes no sense with the omitted words reinstated. One of the reasons I decided against British was that it was much too rule-based and irrational at the same time: rules applied to situations that clearly were mistakes, but in Britain, if a mistake is old enough, it's just relabeled a "tradition". American English cleaned up a lot of this historical garbage, in great part thanks to the amazing work of Noah Webster. The British, of course, regard this as "colonialisms" and are therefore prevented from learning from Americans. One could almost mistake them for being French. #:Erik ------- ¹ a.k.a. "how it differs from American English" -- If this is not what you expected, please alter your expectations.