Friday, June 21, 2013
The use of a plural verb here (Daily Telegraph, 14 March 2013) may look like a mistake to readers unfamiliar with British English (BrE).
In BrE, collective nouns such as team, family and committee are often treated as plural when the emphasis is on their members acting as individuals rather than on the collective as a single unit, hence:
This year’s team are especially strong.
The family next door are always shouting at each other.
The new commitee are the friendliest I’ve ever worked with.
The use of the plural is sentences such as My bank are very reliable, and in the example above from the Daily Telegraph, would not be unusual in BrE, but this would probably be more colloquial and informal.