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SoupIsGood
04-18-2005, 12:53 AM
Is it:

"The Miami Heat are the coolest thing since physical attraction."

or

"The Miami Heat is the coolest thing since physical attraction."

?

Anthem, I'm counting on you here, if no one else steps up to the plate.

I am a grammar freak, and not knowing this has been eating away at my sanity.

Kstat
04-18-2005, 12:57 AM
depends on wether you're referring to the franchise as a whole, or the roster of 12 players.

Anthem
04-18-2005, 01:13 AM
Yeah, Kstat's got it right. Teams/franchises are always a bit tricky. When looking for number agreement, always break it down to pronouns. I've found that to be easiest.

The Miami Heat [is/are] the coolest thing since physical attraction.

Which pronoun would you use? You'd say:
- The Miami Heat is a great franchise, it is the coolest thing since physical attraction. (singular)
- The Miami heat? I love those guys, they are the coolest thing since physical attraction. (plural)

Either could be grammatically correct. Usually, though, you'll talking about a team of players, which would be plural. Because we're so used to talking about the team, the singular usually sounds wrong even when talking about the franchise. To make it worse, most sports franchises use the plural as their name.

You'd say "I hate Enron, it is a terrible organization." In a similar manner, a grammar teacher might tell you to say "I hate the Pistons, it is a terrible organization." I think that sounds goofy. Even though "Pistons" isn't a plural when referring to the franchise (there's only one franchise), the English ear hears the "s" at the end and wants to make it plural. Grammar nags might come after you, but I'd always recommend saying "I hate the Pistons, they are a terrible organization." I wouldn't recommend saying it in Detroit, but you get the idea.

This is off the top of my head. I'll break out my Chicago Manual of Style after I finish the work I'm supposed to be doing right now.

EDIT: P.S. As an aside, what you have there seems to be more of a statement than a question. It could be correct in the right context, but there's a good chance the question mark should be replaced with a period.

3ptmiller
04-18-2005, 01:29 AM
:eyebrow2:

SoupIsGood
04-18-2005, 01:31 AM
EDIT: P.S. As an aside, what you have there seems to be more of a statement than a question. It could be correct in the right context, but there's a good chance the question mark should be replaced with a period.


Bah, you've got me.

I must be out of my mind. What I had in mind was by no means grammatically correct, but it at least made me look like less of a fool. I will fix it now. :)

SoupIsGood
04-18-2005, 01:44 AM
Thanks, all. Now I can proclaim my lust for the Heat without worry.

Anthem
04-18-2005, 02:04 AM
Well, The Chicago Manual of Style is totally silent on the issue. The New York Public Library Writers Guide touches on it briefly under the heading of "Collective Nouns."

Collective nouns require singular verbs when the group is functioning as a unit and plural verbs when the individual members of the group are considered to be acting independently. If a sentence seems awkward the problem can be circumvented by inserting the words members of before the collective noun and using the plural verb. Here are some examples of collective nouns:
And "team" makes the list, along with "band," "faculty," "family," "gang," "staff," and so on. I had my wife, who loves grammar, read my previous post. She hated this bit:

Grammar nags might come after you, but I'd always recommend saying "I hate the Pistons, they are a terrible organization."
She says it's wrong. I'm not going to disagree, but I still say it sounds wacky to say "I hate the Pistons, it is a terrible organization." Your English teacher might love it, but every person that reads your paper is going to stop and read through the sentence again to see if they missed something. So I'll maintain my original position.

Anthem
04-18-2005, 02:13 AM
I've re-read this thread, and I can come to only one conclusion.

I'm a sick man.

Please understand I wasn't always like this. Once upon a time, I was a happy-go-lucky pragmatist that was only worried about being understood. Then I worked for 4 years as a proofreader, technical writer, and editor. Now it's like I have a bad case of OCD: I know it doesn't matter and nobody cares, but I can't help myself. Even when I know I'm just sounding like a jerk, I still do it. I was in the public library two weeks ago and noticed a sign saying "Please return CD's and DVD's at the front desk." I stopped at the front desk and said "I'm sorry to bother you, but you've got two typos on your sign. Anywhere else I wouldn't say anything, but this is a library [implied: and you're supposed to have your s*** together]."

I chose my avatar on purpose. The title underneath is a joke, though probably so obscure that nobody ever got it. It's a play on "phonetic."

Do I need serious psychological help?

Suaveness
04-18-2005, 02:17 AM
Yes

I hate english. I just don't get it. But the fact that you get it makes me put you in the league of extraordinary people.

SoupIsGood
04-18-2005, 02:33 AM
I've re-read this thread, and I can come to only one conclusion.

I'm a sick man.

Please understand I wasn't always like this. Once upon a time, I was a happy-go-lucky pragmatist that was only worried about being understood. Then I worked for 4 years as a proofreader, technical writer, and editor. Now it's like I have a bad case of OCD: I know it doesn't matter and nobody cares, but I can't help myself. Even when I know I'm just sounding like a jerk, I still do it. I was in the public library two weeks ago and noticed a sign saying "Please return CD's and DVD's at the front desk." I stopped at the front desk and said "I'm sorry to bother you, but you've got two typos on your sign. Anywhere else I wouldn't say anything, but this is a library [implied: and you're supposed to have your s*** together]."

I chose my avatar on purpose. The title underneath is a joke, though probably so obscure that nobody ever got it. It's a play on "phonetic."

Do I need serious psychological help?

I must be disturbed also, then, because I love it when you dwelve into one of your grammar-corrections.

You do a splendid job, however, of not sounding like a jerk. You have it down to a fine art, it would seem.

I notice little details like that a lot too, but I usually don't comment on it. Although, in this forum, and any others I swing through, I often have to hold back the urge to correct some of the more painful errors, such as "take it to the whole [sic]."

By the way, feel free to inform me of any mistakes when I write. :P I am not offended or annoying by it, I feel like I'm learning something valuable (which I'm probably not :().

Eindar
04-18-2005, 06:54 AM
you mean annoyed? :P

SycamoreKen
04-18-2005, 07:16 AM
Is it:

"The Miami Heat are the coolest thing since physical attraction."

or

"The Miami Heat is the coolest thing since physical attraction."

?

Anthem, I'm counting on you here, if no one else steps up to the plate.

I am a grammar freak, and not knowing this has been eating away at my sanity.

Interesting discussion.

If you use statement #1, wouldn't thing need to be chaged to things in order to match the subject since the subject is plual? The Heat are means you have more than one "thing" youare describing.

I would go with the second statement since you are referring to the team as a whole.

Ragnar
04-18-2005, 08:52 AM
I chose my avatar on purpose. The title underneath is a joke, though probably so obscure that nobody ever got it. It's a play on "phonetic."

Do I need serious psychological help?

I did not get that it was a play on phonetic at all. I thought you meant fast or excited speller. Ironically your choice may be better than you originaly thought. The word frenetic comes from a Greek word phrentis which means brain disease. (see this is what happens when you take three years of Greek you miss read other peoples arcane jokes.)

Soup are you trying to describe what it is like to be a Pacer fan this year with your Catullus poem?

SoupIsGood
04-18-2005, 05:38 PM
you mean annoyed? :P

I find it quite annoyed that I have been done this a lot lately. I have been gone into a mental lapse when it comed to typed "ing" or "ed" as a suffix. I think I am losed my grip on reality.

SoupIsGood
04-18-2005, 05:38 PM
Soup are you trying to describe what it is like to be a Pacer fan this year with your Catullus poem?

No, but it sort of fits, doesn't it?

Anthem
04-18-2005, 05:39 PM
I think I am losed my grip on reality.

Really? We haven't noticed.... :whistle:

:flirt:

SoupIsGood
04-18-2005, 05:42 PM
Really? We haven't noticed.... :whistle:

:flirt:

I have noticing. I have also noticing that that little man won't stop whistled at me. Make it stop.

rabid
04-18-2005, 05:52 PM
"A team of players" is still singular. Yes, there are many players, but only ONE team or organization is being described.

So,

"The Miami Heat sucks."

NOT:

"The Miami Heat suck."

It sounds weird but it's correct. It gets even weirder though when the team name itself is plural:

"The Indiana Pacers is awesome" just doesn't sound right. But if you want to get technical (not that I necessarily do), if you were describing the team as a single unit, this would be the correct grammar.

Of course, "The Indiana Pacers ARE awesome" works as well, it's just that you're now describing the group of individual players involved.

I need a beer.