An avalanche of surveys - show that

Nonverbis

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Upstream Proficiency by Virginia Evans and Janny Dooley


An avalanche of surveys, polls and expert commentaries show that we all work too long, too hard.


Isnt't there a mistake here? An avalanche ... shows. No?


2021-12-06_11-59.png
 

5jj

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Yes, to the purist. I suspect that most native speakers would not notice this, and many would say/write it.
 

jutfrank

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I think I'd argue that there is no mistake here. The writer is thinking of the plural surveys as the head of the subject, not the singular avalanche. The phrase an avalanche of is working merely as a quantifier, much like a lot of.
 

Tdol

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I think you can both ways- I'd use the plural, because there are so many plurals near the verb.
 

jutfrank

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I don't think it has anything to do with what's near the verb. It's all to do with what the speaker has in mind as the sentence subject. The verb agrees with the subject. Where people go wrong on this issue is in thinking of the grammatical subject rather than the logical subject. This is not to do with grammar but with meaning.

You could argue reasonably that the writer was indeed thinking of avalanche as the logical subject, and that there was an error in the writing or editing process, but I really think that's unlikely.
 
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Tdol

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I do believe that proximity has an impact- just as I would not use there are a man and a woman to see you, when thinking about two people.
 
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