Student or Learner
What is right?
Data hasn't been presented.
Data haven't been presented.
As data can be singular and plural, can we use have after data when we mean more data?
I'm one of those people who says "Yes, I know data is plural but you sound pretentious when you use it that way."
My technical editor will frequently correct my use of the singular verb with data, but I will just as often ignore that advice. I think the insistence on the plural verb for data will soon be about as strong as the insistence of the use of "whom."
This is one change in the language I'm happy to see.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
It seems to me that these 'data is plural' pedants are just wrong. A 'datum' is a word occasionally used, and I would accept 'data' to be used as the plural - though I'd much prefer 'datums' (or a different noun to make plural - 'datum marks'/'datum levels'/'datum points/...). But the word 'data' as we use it in most contexts (IT, statistics, etc.) is a mass noun like 'sugar': 'the data is unclear'. However, because these pedants can make life difficult for technical writers, I usually try to paraphrase - in that case, something like 'it is unclear from the data, what....'
Last edited by BobK; 13-Jul-2012 at 12:10. Reason: fix typo
PS I was talking there about Br and Am English. I tihnk the change that Barb and I welcome is happening more slowly - if at all - in some other national variants. I believe in Australian English the plural still thrives, along with a different stressed vowel: /a:/.