"Microsoft are" vs. "Microsoft is"?

Discussion in 'Green Room' started by Petros, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Petros

    Petros Thief IV

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    I'm very big on grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Although I make mistakes in all three from time to time, it doesn't keep me from tripping over my thought when I notice violations of any of them.

    Bugging me for the last year or so is referring to a corporation in the plural, as in "Microsoft are releasing Vista in 200X". Is this truly right? If so, by what standard? I'm only asking because "Microsoft are" annoys me endlessly.

    A corporation is a singular entity, so it would make sense to refer to it in the singular. On the other hand, common vernacular seems to dictate that it is fine to refer to a corporation as "they", as in "Microsoft are releasing their new flagship OS, Vista, in 200X." Sure, the subject and pronoun agree in number, but the subject and verb don't. If you said "Microsoft is releasing their flagship OS, Vista, in 200X", the opposite is true.

    So which is right? Are we just trading one grammatical violation for another?
     
  2. Mastershakes

    Mastershakes Moderator

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    Is....

    or Microsoft will be releasing their new flagship OS in 2006

    and yeah, you are dead on... corps are individuals.
     
  3. RickyBaw

    RickyBaw OSNN Junior Addict

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    Methinks you think too much. :laugh:

    It has always bugged me when someone will say something like "Van Halen are going to be here in concert on the 23rd." or "Did you hear that Green Day ARE going on a 2 year break?"

    That sounds silly.

    I'd rather say it incorrectly ("Van Halen is" "Microsoft is") than sound silly. Heaven forbid I ever sound silly, well, not purposely.
     
  4. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    it's "a" fleet even though there are many cars in the fleet

    van halen is one band, not a bunch of bands.

    the "they" when refering to microsoft refers to their staff, not the corporation...the "they" is probably incorrect and should probably be used as "it is" rather then "they are"

    but maybe not, for instance, when referring to the musicians in van halen, I would say "they are playing at the garden", not "it is playing at the garden", though "it is" would be correct but sound wrong

    when referring to a pro active action of a whole unit comprised of individuals, the individuals are considered for gramma instead of the single unit as a whole.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^hmmm...I made that up^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2006
  5. Mastershakes

    Mastershakes Moderator

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    You make up good stuff Perris. No worries ;)
     
  6. falconguard

    falconguard Carbon based lifeform Political User Folding Team

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    This is a case of a group collective in action, As Microsoft has huge amounts of engineers working on developing code thus "they" are responsible. The same works for Van Halen, If just Eddie showed up then it would be Eddie Van Halen "is" here.