Monday, September 15, 2008

Software

This is from the Straits Times Digital Life (DL) supplement (10 September 2008).

The English in DL is usually quite appalling, and this example is typical. Software is an uncountable noun, meaning that grammatically it is treated as singular. Hence, the two instances of they above are wrong: use it instead.

When counting the individual items that make up uncountable nouns, we need a partitive like piece: e.g. pieces of software, furniture, equipment.

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