False Singulars - AMA Manual of Style

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False Singulars 

False Singulars

Chapter:
Plurals
Author(s):

Brenda Gregoline

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False Singulars

Some nouns, because they end in a “plural” form, are mistakenly taken to be plurals even though they should be treated as singular and take a singular verb (eg, measles, mumps, mathematics, genetics).

Measles is a deadly disease in underdeveloped countries.

A few nouns are usually used in the plural form; however, the distinction between plural and singular should be retained where appropriate. (See also 7.8.3, Grammar, Subject-Verb Agreement, False Plurals.)

Plural

Singular

data

datum

criteria

criterion

media

medium [for a specific type: Television is a good medium for disseminating important health news.]

phenomena

phenomenon

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