[tz] [PATCH] The word "data" is plural.

Tim Parenti tim at timtimeonline.com
Wed Aug 13 17:57:29 UTC 2014

I personally think this second patch is a bit of a hypercorrection which is
a bit more awkward in a few places than either the unpatched or all-plural
versions (particularly with the phrases "data entries" and "data values").
That said, I can live with it.

I think any linguistic descriptivist would tell you that "data" is used as
both an uncountable/mass singular and the more traditional plural, and that
whichever should be preferred is simply a matter of clarity in context.

Tim Parenti

On 13 August 2014 01:27, Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu> wrote:

> Russ Allbery wrote:
>> The question is whether data is still treated as the plural of datum, or
>> whether it's converted into being a mass noun in its own right.
> Thanks for mentioning that.  To try to head this dispute off at the pass
> the attached new patch (pushed into the experimental version) rewords
> everything so that the word "data" is never used in a context that requires
> it to be plural, or that requires it to be plural either.
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