Wall Street Journal: Data is or data are?

In a Thursday afternoon blog post, the Wall Street Journal announced a style change for the word data: “As usage has evolved from the word’s origin as the Latin plural of datum, singular verbs now are often used to refer to collections of information: Little data is available to support the conclusions. Otherwise, generally continue to use the plural: Data are still being collected.

WSJ’s Phil Izzo finished his item with this paragraph:

We suspect that the plural will continue to dominate in our prose. But between you and I, if your mad at the Journal for deciding to egregiously flaunt proper grammar, you’ll know who to complain to.

Commenters’ eyebrows were raised: “Is it just me or ‘your’ from the last sentence related to proper grammar should be ‘you’re’?” asked one.

Izzo responded to the inquiries on Twitter:

* Is data is, or is data aint’, a plural? (blogs.wsj.com)

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