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Social Media – Singular or Plural?

from The Economist, 1-10-18

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This is certainly not wrong; media is of course technically a plural noun (like data), however much it is considered a singular or, perhaps better, a collective noun. But I don’t remember seeing social media used as a plural; the unit-like nature of the term, rather than the noun itself, would seem to further identify it as a singular (collective) noun, rather than a (literal) plural noun, but The Economist, apparently, uses it as a plural. Cool.

NYTimes Commas

The excerpt below is from the New York Times and I’m pretty sure I’m right but am not sure, so feel free to weigh in (all 3 of you out there).

The way it’s punctuated now, it seems, makes it either a comma splice or a missing comma.

I would punctuate it ‘and, yes, she’s tried’, reading the ‘yes’ as an aside that should be set off as with parentheses.

Without the comma before ‘yes’, as it is written now, the ‘yes’ becomes the element connected by the ‘and’, which makes the ‘she’s tried’ a separate clause and so one needing a conjunction. (Whew. Did you follow that one?)

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And from later in the article.


Again, it would seem necessary to have a comma between ‘and’ and ‘if’ to maintain structure. Otherwise the protasis of the conditional seems connected to the ‘and’ (when it’s really the apodosis that is, yes?), or the comma between ‘all’ and ‘you’ seems superfluous (but it’s not as if you’d leave that stretch with no comma at all).