Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stuff I'm Looking Up

1. Re "there is a variety of options" versus "there are a variety of options":



Usage note ... As a collective noun, variety, when preceded by a, is often treated as a plural: A variety of inexpensive goods are sold here. When preceded by the, it is usually treated as a singular: The variety of products is small.

In the American Heritage Dictionary at

n. a large shallow dish; a platter.

(I suspect a lot of Better Homes and Gardens types knew that definition of "charger." But as someone who grew up enjoying many a dinner straight out of the Doritos bag, this was a new one on me when I came across it in a story I was editing and just couldn't figure out how a platter of mashed potatoes could power a cellphone.)

1 comment:

BILL said...

June - On the topic of subject/verb agreement, you made a mistake today on NPR. You said (I paraphrase) that "I am one of those people who WANTS to be persnickity." Since the clause "who _____ to be persnickity modifies "people," not "one," the verb should be plural: "I am one of those people who WANT to be persnickity."


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