Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wireless, yes, but do they have a grammar checker?

Sign at the corner of Jefferson Road and Kanawha Turnpike.

12 comments:

Rebecca Burch said...

That makes me think of "All your base are belong to us."

If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google it.

Juvenal said...

What's your point? The construction is perfectly grammatical. South Charleston Business Districts are a Wi-Fi Community. We are family. They are a couple. You (all) are a group. Family, couple, group and community are collective nouns. They are a type (which at times is a collective noun) that depends on context. Thus, I beg to differ.

Moe said...

"South Charleston Business Districts are a Wi-Fi Community."

Juvenal:

Did Garrison give you your English degree?

If your suggestion that "South Charleston Business Districts" is a group name and use of the singular "community" is thus correct, then the verb should also be singular, and it should read "SCBD IS a wireless community."

That sentence cannot be salvaged.

Juvenal said...

Moe is in error.

No, it is not my suggestion that "South Charleston Business Districts" is a group or collective noun. It is my statement that "community" is a group noun. I plainly made it. Fowler's addresses the selection of the verb number under the "are, is" entry: "When one of these is required between the subject & a complement that differ in number, the verb must follow the number of the subject." In the case at hand, "South Charleston Business Districts" is the subject and "community" is the complement. The subject is in the plural and dictates "are" in the construction. "Community" happens to be a group or collective noun in its context.

Moe: When you attempt to parry in English usage you had better know your stuff.

Charles said...

I'm no English scholar, but I know a clumsy-sounding sentence when I hear it and this sentence sounds clumsy; that alone should merit a re-write. And that there are such conflicting interpretations of its correctness just go to illustrate further that it should have been worded better.

"SC Business Districts offer free public Wi-Fi connectivity" would have done nicely.

Moe said...

Moe is correct. Juvenal needs remedial English classes.

The following could be correct sentences:

"South Charleston Business Districts IS a wireless COMMUNITY."
This would be correct if SCBD is the name of A group and properly followed by the singular terms "is" and "community." A singular subject must BE a singular thing. You cannot say, "they is a group." Well, you can, but doing so makes you sound uneducated.

"South Charleston Business Districts ARE wirelss COMMUNITIES."
This would be correct if the South Charleston Business Bistricts were separate entities refered to by a collective name (thus plural) and followed by the approriate plurals "are" and "communities."


"South Charleston Business districts belong to (or "are a part of") A wireless community."
This would be correct if the SCBDs are separate entities that belong to a single community.

Even "South Charleston Business Districts ARE a wireless COMMUNITY" would not be technically correct. The SCBDs are not the group, they comprise or belong to the grooup. "To be" verbs refer to just that. you'd get away with that in casual conversation but it is not correct.

******

"South Charleston Business Districts are a wireless community," however cannot be correct under any rationale whatsoever.

If I wrote, "ducks is a bird" you might understand what I meant but it would be wrong. This is no different.

You should be embarrassed to have made the first post. you should be ashamed to persist after it has been explained to you.

Moe said...

"South Charleston Business Districts are a wireless community," however cannot be correct under any rationale whatsoever."

I meant, of course, to write South Charleston Business Districts IS a wireless community," as written on the sign.

The good news is the signs appear inexpensive and I'm sure will be changed at little cost now that this error has been identified

Wifeoid said...

Does South Charleston have more than one business district?

Wifeoid said...
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Wifeoid said...
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Dave said...

To clarify, Wi-Fi is short for "Wireless Fidelity". The sentence contains poor grammar because it is redundant.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

The subject of the verb is "South Charleston Business Districts" (yes, they have morethan one).
Therefore, "South Charleston Business Districts are a Wireless Community" is correct.

How bout this:
"The ducks are in a pile."
"Those people are a group."

Some commenters here would reply "Them ducks is not in a pile" or Them people is not a group."