Friday, May 17, 2013

Criteria/Criterion


Two mistakes in the Straits Times Interactive (16 May 2013).

The first highlighted word, criteria, is plural, so the singular criterion should have been used instead: one new criterion. (Another common singular/plural pair is phenomenon/phenomena.)

The second is a more glaring mistake: the authorities is plural, so the highlighted verb should have been are. The noun phrase the authorities is the subject of its relative clause (i.e. (which/that) the authorities are considering), so the verb needs to agree with it.

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