Date: Tue, 7 Mar 1995 13:24:49 +0000 From: "dbritain[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]" 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 whatever). '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'?! Dave Britain Dept of Language and Linguistics Essex University Colchester CO4 3SQ UK