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My recent post about the Economist Style Guide included a passing comment about whether companies were singular or plural. It generated a surprising number of comments, and some grammarphile controversy.
It turns out singular vs plural is a very important aspect when learning how to write and edit.
In some cases, it may seem to make sense to make 'company' plural. It's a team of people, right? People = more than one person. However, company, like team, should be treated as singular.
Here's the final word on the matter.
Companies: singular or plural?
The Economist says they're singular. I agreed.
But today (coming back from a week's holiday in Goa), I've come across a situation which leaves me scratching my head - a two-person company. Writing about them as a singular entity seems oddly formal and doesn't look right at all.
It just goes to prove the old adage: 'if in doubt, prefer geniality to good grammar'.