I think the notional concord works when their referent is a single entity which has been pluralized into units: five minutes is enough, five dollars is not enough.
But when the referent is a heterogenous collective of separate events, like classroom lessons, I just don't buy it, and find it sounds illiterate.
"My parents is the guiding force in my life." [No way Josť]
"Our Members of Parliament is a disgrace." [No way Josť]
Le plaisir est le mien!
I think that classroom lessons is a more effective way to acquire good knowledge of the world.
In my opinion, 'classroom lessons' means attending classroom lessons as a means of acquiring knowledge; a method.
I have a very good idea: Let us use the singular/plural in the sentence the way we like it. Thus, everyone will be happy, and that is the most important thing in life to me.
Let us not lose sleep over such trivia.
If you likes it, we agrees it. Thanks yous every muches! [Just being silly here of course, this is not good English kids!]
Last edited by konungursvia; 16-Jun-2009 at 23:04.
It is my profession.
This is quite a difficult question. I think I should agree with those who have said that the singular verb here is ungrammatical. The trouble is, as a native speaker, I don't actually find it bad, and I have been trying to figure out why. Hopefully not because I am illiterate.
I am not sure how far "notional agreement" gets us, or maybe we just haven't been characterizing it correctly. There is such a thing in English (sometimes also called "pragmatic agreement") - an example in the linguistics literature is "The hash browns in the corner wants another coffee" (think of a busy cafe). This is not, however, simply a matter of reanalysing a quantity expression as a single unit (that does not help us, as Konungursvia's examples seem to show convincingly). Rather, the subject NP is used without its normal reference - in this case, it does not refer to hash browns or any other plural entity but to a person, who the phrase is used to "label".
The example in this thread does not look very similar, but we can do the same thing to label something more abstract, like an idea or a plan. For example perhaps many of us might accept sentences like "hash browns sounds good", "six pints sounds good" or even "classroom lessons sounds good". I think that maybe the word "way" in the example sentence also licenses (for some speakers, though maybe not for all) this kind of transfer of reference for the subject NP.
Just a thought.
Footnote - I am not quite sure what hash browns are, but I think they're a kind of American potato dish.
Last edited by orangutan; 17-Jun-2009 at 11:26. Reason: spelling
File:Hashbrown potato patty.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hush browns is a meal. (The notional value is singular.)
Not very appetizing; not really gordon-bleu, huh?