Karen M Frederickson frede005 at
Thu Jul 20 11:05:45 EDT 2000

On Thu, 20 Jul 2000, Irina Rempt wrote:

> On Fri, 21 Jul 2000, Sally Odgers wrote:
> > "the crew were"
> Isn't that correct? I always thought that "crew" was a collective
> noun that could take a plural verb when the context called for it.
> That is, when not the crew as a whole is meant ("the crew was flown
> to London") but as a group of people ("the crew were packing their
> belongings").

This is a difference between English and American usage. Neither is more
"correct" than the other.  We say "Congress was going to do this..." and
the British would say "the United States Congress were going to..." 

The "Blitzen" name for a cat...would come from the name used in A Night
Before Christmas, for one of Santa's reindeer.  So it has had about 150
years to become embedded in the American collective consciousness as a
possible  name for a singular cat.


To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list