False Singulars - AMA Manual of Style

Subscriber Login

Forgotten your password?

Page of

False Singulars 


Stacy Christiansen

Page of

PRINTED FROM AMA MANUAL OF STYLE ONLINE (www.amamanualofstyle.com). © American Medical Association, 2009. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the license agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in AMA Manual of Style Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy). date: 27 November 2015

A few plural nouns are used so often in the singular that they are often paired with a singular verb.The agenda has been set for our next meeting. Frequently treated erroneously in this way are the plurals bacteria, criteria, phenomena, and memoranda. The distinction between singular and plural, however, should be retained; when the singular is intended, use bacterium, criterion, phenomenon, and memorandum. Also, many now consider acceptable the use of data as a singular. In this usage, data is thought of as a collective noun and, when considered as a unit rather than as the individual items of data

Access to the complete content on AMA Manual of Style requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.