I came to EL&U today wondering about the correct way to use plural verbs in regard to nouns that imply plurality (such as "group"). While I did find answers, I found many questions that were closed as duplicates of each other.
Most of the questions were not truly duplicates, but were asking variations on the same core question. Unfortunately the better written questions and answers were spread around multiple threads, and many more specific forms of the question were not answered at all.
This means that getting a complete answer to my question required I search through multiple threads.
- Is “a group” singular or plural? - Open, but the question is not general enough.
- Is “group” singular or plural? [duplicate] - Closed, but has a more general (and useful) question and answer.
- Are collective nouns always plural, or are certain ones singular? - 2 links to this, though it isn't really the same, as it about proper names for organizations.
- Is this compound noun compose of a group of many things plural or singular? [duplicate] - Deals with a set, but marked as duplicate of 2.
- Singular or plural verb after collective noun initialism - Very similar to 3, though it also deals with initialisms.
- Is “staff” plural? - Similar to 1 and 2, but about a different word.
- “The current crop of X (was/were)” - Which is correct? [duplicate] - Similar to 2 and 6. Closed as duplicate of. . .
- Is the usage of “are” correct when referring to a team/group/band? [duplicate] - Similar to 2 and 5. closed as duplicate of 6.
In many cases the "duplicate" questions are closed for isn't even all that similar.
Now, after reading them all. . . I'm still not sure how to correctly choose plural or singular verbs for collectives.
Idealy there would be a question that is well written, has well written answers, and deals with all those weird permuatations of the same problem (that may even have conflicting answers! 1 and 2 have near opposite answers). Or there would be multiple specific questions dealing with each specific case, and they would not be closed immediately as "duplicates".
I can't just ask the question in a better form, because that question will be immediately closed. I can't just edit a question, since I would have to completely rewrite the question, not just modify it a bit - I doubt anyone would approve such a drastic change. I can't even answer the good questions using information from the others because they are close.
Is there a way to fix this?