I've never considered the number of "Following" , and I saw the rule like "following+are+plural noun" or "following+is+singular noun", so is it so strict or flexible?
ex)The following are the minutes of a student council meeting. The council consists of seven students, including the president, all elected by students. The meeting took place one day after a student got injured in a fight.
Thanks a lot! I meant if some people write "The following is the minutes..." ignoring the rule, and if it's acceptable by others.
Perhaps an easy way to remember "Following" + (singular or plural) is to change the order of the singular/plural noun as in "Minutes are following".
The following are the minutes...
The following is a record....
The verb typically takes the number of the noun. But as billmcd suggested it may be better to change the word order so that the noun comes before the verb. Personally, I'd avoid 'the following is/are' anyway as dead wood, and just use a sub-head for Minutes/Notes/Log.... or whatever noun you think best.