Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Once upon a time, when newFNP was a younger lady and a new MPH student, the most influential professor of her life taught her a valuable lesson: data are plural.

This is certainly one of the least important lessons she learned from this professor from a public health perspective, but is one newFNP very commonly reflects upon given the frequency with which it is ignored. It has served newFNP well over the years in her academic writing and conversation, but it has also served to drive newFNP to drink when she all too frequently hears public health and medical professionals say "The data is..." It's like nails on a mother-effing chalkboard to newFNP.

As newFNP was sitting in her providers' meeting today (number of productive minutes = 7; number of minutes = 120) and hearing the noun-verb mismatch over and again, she was thinking to herself, "Thank you, SBS, for preventing newFNP from committing this academic faux pas... and thanks a lot!"


ray8chel said...

Thank you for the education.
I actually didn't know saying "data is..." was incorrect.
Would I say "current data suggests..." or the "data are..."

Anonymous said...

What is the singular form of data? Dati? Datus?

Anonymous said...


newFNP said...

Datum is the singular of data. And one would say "the data are..." or "current data suggest..." Then you can sound like one erudite motherfucker!!