Data are plural!

Ok – short post on a real pet peeve of mine.  The word “data” is plural. See the following examples:

Incorrect: Them data is cool!
Correct: Them data are cool!

It’s a minor annoyance and, coming from someone who can’t figure out when to use affect vs. effect, perhaps you should just ignore me . . . but really – data are plural.

  • The word “data” is undoubtedly plural… in Latin.
    I personally agree with you that it should certainly be plural also in English, however Merriam-Webster disagrees with the two of us.

  • Dave Jilk

    Normally this sort of thing annoys me as well, but this one does not bother me. Because any quantity of data can be treated as singular or plural, it is somewhat arbitrary to assign any quantity of data as a single datum. Consequently, in modern English data is both singular and plural.

  • Seth,
    Here is a good book for your grammar affliction. We can help you. It’ll be ok.
    Peace out,

  • Bill Adkins
  • Walker

    By the way, the last part of your last sentence is incorrect “data are plural”…. it should read “‘data’ is plural”
    Replace data with “dogs” you’ll see what I mean – you wouldn’t write “dogs are plural” – what you are really trying to say is “the word ‘data’ is plural”.

  • S Y

    While on grammar, I think a few mentions from Networking 101 may not go amiss…
    1. There is no such word as ‘welcomed’; Just ‘welcome’ will suffice
    2. The plural of ‘Attorney’ is Attorneys (yes, that, without the apostrophe)
    3. Step 4 says ‘when its awkward…’, it should simply state ‘when it is awkward…’ or when it’s awkward…’
    The point is just so say that sometimes people make mistakes they do not intend to make. After all if every blogger was anal about proofing, most blogs would never get written.

  • The word “data” is undoubtedly plural… in Latin. dead right

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