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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Criminal Sentence 311: Sick Doctor's Message

A sentence I heard while on hold for the doc's office:

"Our philosophy and goal is 100% satisfaction."

I had to cringe at that. But it's a common enough problem: a simple case of mismatch. When there is a single item, use a singular verb; when you have more than one, use a plural verb. So writers just need to ask themselves, "How many items am I talking about?" Here, the answer is two, so we need a plural verb:

"Our philosophy and goal are 100% satisfaction."

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