Date: Tue, 7 Mar 1995 13:24:49 +0000
From: "dbritain[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]popserver.essex.ac.uk..." dbritain[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ESSEX.AC.UK
Subject: Re; British Plurals
I think Brits would have plural verbs forms for any country which had a
plural in its name: so, the United States, the Phillipines; the Seychelles;
the Maldives; the United Arab Emirates and the Federated States of
Micronesia HAVE not HAS been amassing THEIR troops ready for an invasion (or
'Trades Union' sounds posh to me - my students and I all agree that Trade
Union is far more normal.
As for whether a trade union is followed by a plural or not - well, I dug
out an example from last weekend's Times Higher Education Supplement:
'Lecturers' union Natfhe has been scathing about franchises'
That was the only one I could find, but related: 'The T(ransport
and)G(eneral)W(orkers')U(nion) said they had consulted their members' (this
example was from a different newspaper).
Intuitively however my students felt that unions could be followed, in
speech, by either a singular or a plural verb form.
What, by the way, is 'loosemeat'?!
Dept of Language and Linguistics
Colchester CO4 3SQ