Issue 135, page 3
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Guestmudgeon Ian Williams shows that the data are in
Yes, we curmudgeons agree with you. Unfortunately, using data as a collective, singular noun is so widespread that we're not sure the tide can be turned. Even the Encarta Dictionary, with its copious usage notes, suggests this, but it also says that data, in formal English, should be treated as a plural. Encarta is also on your (and our!) side with regard to criteria (plural) and criterion (singular). However, they do list criterions as another plural form. Ouch!
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