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BillyDinPVD

a. When you're referring to a group as a collection of persons, instead of a unitary whole?

b. "In nuce" means "in a nutshell".

gail

Two points to Billy, though we need to clarify who "you" refers to in (a). Another point to anyone who can fill in the blank ... "When you're referring to a group as a collection of persons, etc.,... but only if you're [blank].

BillyDinPVD

British?

BillyDinPVD

Or pretentious.

For the record, I'm not British.

gail

YES! American English deals with those kinds of nouns differently. For example, the British (and other British English speakers) say "the jury are," while Americans say "the jury is."

BillyDinPVD

I've heard that after the Civil War people stopped saying "The United States are..." and started saying "The United States is..." I've further heard this change explained as being due to a new, unified vision of the nation. I don't know if that's true or not, but I wonder if it might also be because of a general change in American English regarding collective nouns?

gail

I'll research that and come back with an answer tomorrow (if I find one)

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