Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Writers' Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-27-2013, 07:45 PM   #1
MacEachaidh
Browser
MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
MacEachaidh's Avatar
 
Posts: 593
Karma: 445872
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Australia
Device: iRiver Story, Kobo Touch, Kobo Aura HD
"1 in 6": a grammar stumper

Hi all,
Does anyone have any thoughts on the following?

A friend asked me to proofread the new website for his organisation SAMSN. It provides support groups here in Australia for adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The website includes the following statement:

A staggering 1 in 6 Australian boys are sexually abused before they’re 18

which I suggested should read

A staggering 1 in 6 Australian boys is sexually abused before he’s 18


My friend had a real stumble over that, saying what I had suggested was "so obviously wrong" that it would stop people reading the page.

I know the current trend is to treat collective nouns as plural (which to be honest is a mental speedhump for me every time I hear it), and that how it was originally written is probably now the vernacular use, but I thought it might still be an either/or. How did it get so entrenched that the usage I suggested is now "so obviously wrong?"

It's his site, and my comments were only my suggestions, so no dramas there. And yes I know, language changes, and so on — I'm only going on language as I'm used to it, not trying to stick rules on others. But it does puzzle me, and I'd like to hear which way the general consensus lies.

Any opinions people care to offer, please?
MacEachaidh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 08:30 PM   #2
Dr. Drib
Grand Sorcerer
Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Dr. Drib's Avatar
 
Posts: 28,360
Karma: 12332748
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: San Borja (Lima), Peru
Device: Kindle PW2(WiFi) / FireHD; Kindle DX-G; Kobo-AuraHD,Glo,Mini; Ipad Air
...boys are abused.....


There's your subject and the verb that goes with it.

'[T]hey,' of course, would follow.




Don
Dr. Drib is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Enthusiast
Old 08-27-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
MacEachaidh
Browser
MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.MacEachaidh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
MacEachaidh's Avatar
 
Posts: 593
Karma: 445872
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Australia
Device: iRiver Story, Kobo Touch, Kobo Aura HD
Then what's the "1" for? I honestly don't get how "boys is the subject — wouldn't the subject be "1 boy"?

If you restructured the sentence, wouldn't it be "1 boy is abusd out of 6" ?
MacEachaidh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 10:26 PM   #4
Hitch
Bookmaker & Cat Slave
Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Hitch's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,414
Karma: 13022651
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Device: Kindle2, iPad, KindleFire and NookColor
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacEachaidh View Post
Then what's the "1" for? I honestly don't get how "boys is the subject — wouldn't the subject be "1 boy"?

If you restructured the sentence, wouldn't it be "1 boy is abusd out of 6" ?
"boys" is the noun (like that one?). "1 of 6" is the noun's modifier. If you removed the modifier, it would simply be "...boys are abused..." and you'd know it should be "are," rather than "is." You're focused on the one (1), rather than the boys. That's all; your friend's assessment is correct, it's "are," not "is." I don't believe that this is a case of what's in the vernacular.

Hitch
Hitch is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 10:35 PM   #5
cghipp
Zealot
cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 146
Karma: 2345678
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: South Cackalacky
Device: Sony PRS-T1, Kobo Glo
You were correct. "One in six IS," but "Two in six ARE."
cghipp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 10:41 PM   #6
cghipp
Zealot
cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cghipp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 146
Karma: 2345678
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: South Cackalacky
Device: Sony PRS-T1, Kobo Glo
For example, you wouldn't say, "One of my friends are short." The subject is ONE friend. One friend is short; one of my friends is short.
cghipp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 03:27 AM   #7
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 63,638
Karma: 41565251
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
The subject is "1 boy"; the verb should therefore be singular. "is" is the correct word.
HarryT is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 04:56 AM   #8
Hitch
Bookmaker & Cat Slave
Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Hitch's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,414
Karma: 13022651
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Device: Kindle2, iPad, KindleFire and NookColor
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The subject is "1 boy"; the verb should therefore be singular. "is" is the correct word.
Harry, it depends. The subject isn't the one boy; it's the statistic, isn't it? The "1 in 6 boys," not the one? Is "one" the noun and subject, or is "boys" the noun and subject?

Actually, the reason the sentence is so bollixed is the "1 in 6" instead of "1 out of every six," which would have been more accurate and eliminated the discussion altogether, as at that point, it (the subject) certainly would have been the one, not the "boy(s)," plural.

Hitch
Hitch is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 05:38 AM   #9
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 63,638
Karma: 41565251
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
Yes, I see your point; you're considering the collective whole of the "1 in 6" rather than the 1 individually. I think it's a case where either a singular or plural could be considered correct, although personally I prefer the singular in this case.
HarryT is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 06:28 AM   #10
Hitch
Bookmaker & Cat Slave
Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hitch ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Hitch's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,414
Karma: 13022651
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Device: Kindle2, iPad, KindleFire and NookColor
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Yes, I see your point; you're considering the collective whole of the "1 in 6" rather than the 1 individually. I think it's a case where either a singular or plural could be considered correct, although personally I prefer the singular in this case.
Hi:

I meant to say, earlier, that I personally preferred, ear-wise, the "1-is," over the "boys-are," given the sentence in its entirety, but I do think, in this instance, that what you say is true--given the way the sentence is written, it could be interpreted either way--the collective plural or the 1. Hmmm...we certainly get some interesting "stuff" here on MR, don't we?

Hitch
Hitch is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 08:03 AM   #11
WillAdams
Guru
WillAdams ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WillAdams ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WillAdams ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WillAdams ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WillAdams ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WillAdams ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WillAdams ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WillAdams ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WillAdams ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WillAdams ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WillAdams ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
WillAdams's Avatar
 
Posts: 953
Karma: 1760710
Join Date: Feb 2008
Device: Sony PRS-600, Fujitsu Stylistic ST-4121
There are more than 6 boys in Australia, so more than 1 boy is a statistic.

One of my six friends is short.

On average, one out of six boys that I know are short.
WillAdams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 09:15 AM   #12
Dr. Drib
Grand Sorcerer
Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Dr. Drib's Avatar
 
Posts: 28,360
Karma: 12332748
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: San Borja (Lima), Peru
Device: Kindle PW2(WiFi) / FireHD; Kindle DX-G; Kobo-AuraHD,Glo,Mini; Ipad Air
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
"boys" is the noun (like that one?). "1 of 6" is the noun's modifier. If you removed the modifier, it would simply be "...boys are abused..." and you'd know it should be "are," rather than "is." You're focused on the one (1), rather than the boys. That's all; your friend's assessment is correct, it's "are," not "is." I don't believe that this is a case of what's in the vernacular.

Hitch

Exactly.



Don
Dr. Drib is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 09:39 AM   #13
samhy
Wizard
samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
samhy's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,714
Karma: 5660023
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: France
Device: Sony (J) PRS 650, Kobo Mini and Aura HD
If it were me, with my French background, I would use "is" because it's referring to the sentence subject "one in six".

In French, both would be okay, even though one way may be more right For example, we can say
Quote:
The majority of the readers agrees with the publisher.
(correct grammar wise since the subject of the sentence is "the majority")
as well as
Quote:
The majority of the readers agree with the publisher.
(okay since the theme of the sentence clearly states there are more than one reader).

Now French and English grammar rules can sometimes be very close, however I won't say that what applies to one stays true for the other

Last edited by samhy; 08-28-2013 at 10:16 AM. Reason: for clarification
samhy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 09:47 AM   #14
pdurrant
The Grand Mouse
pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pdurrant's Avatar
 
Posts: 31,860
Karma: 88206086
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Norfolk, England
Device: NOOK ST GlowLight
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillAdams View Post
There are more than 6 boys in Australia, so more than 1 boy is a statistic.

I think we have a winner.

I think we all agree that the subject of the subject-verb-object is "1 in 6 Australian boys".

As WillAdams points out, this is a whole lot of boys, and so the plural is correct.
pdurrant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 10:13 AM   #15
samhy
Wizard
samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.samhy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
samhy's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,714
Karma: 5660023
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: France
Device: Sony (J) PRS 650, Kobo Mini and Aura HD
Maybe that can be of some help.
Quote:
Fractions and percentages take the singular when they modify a mass noun and the plural when they modify a plural noun; either the singular or the plural may be used when they modify a collective noun.
samhy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
KT "Ghost covers/files" again at 670 books, "stale" image entries in firmware VirgoGirl Kobo Reader 4 04-06-2012 02:10 PM
Feature Request: configurable space setting for "Insert blank line" in "Look & Feel" therealjoeblow Calibre 15 07-25-2011 03:14 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:41 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.