Monday, 14 June 2010

Phenomena and Alumni

The words phenomena and alumni  are plural nouns but are frequently used as if they were singular, as seen in the following examples:

  • "This is a phenomena that has started since the entry of Reliance in the GSM market in January this year," said an analyst with a Mumbai-based brokerage. (
  •  Sometimes a phenomena called ballooning occurs in hydraulic circuits where the hydraulic brake hoses swell up after repeated braking... (
  •  An alumni of the famed Loyola College, Chennai, Shri Vaithilingam imbibed a zeal and commitment for public service from his student days. (
  •  Lt. Gen. Rajinder Singh Sujlana is an alumni of National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla and the Indian Military Academy. (
 In these examples the singular forms, phenomenon and alumnus, were needed.

1 comment:

  1. Another related misuse is of "data" as if it were singular. In fact, I've come across this so often - mostly on the internet - that sentences like "The collected data prove that he is right" (which is correct) have started sounding odd.