Linked by Kroc Camen on Sat 26th Jun 2010 10:48 UTC
Internet Explorer Microsoft have released IE9 Platform Preview 3, an application that gives developers access to the IE9 rendering engine (it's not a full browser). In this update they have added hardware accelerated HTML5 Video, Canvas, Fonts (using WOFF) and big improvements in JavaScript with ES5, DOM Traversal, L2 and L3 events and 83/100 Acid3 score. It sits between Firefox and Chrome 6 on JavaScript speed, but outperforms every browser in real tests.
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RE[2]: Not to be persnickety
by tbutler on Sat 26th Jun 2010 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Not to be persnickety"
tbutler
Member since:
2005-07-06

The neuter form is one of the strange parts of English. I suspect "they" is often used since most people seem to prefer it to "it" or the "generic masculine." Hence, people will speak of a singular person using "they" if they do not wish to specify a gender -- even though that is incorrect.

Probably the best usage would be "Microsoft has announced... It will make the updates available..."

Interestingly, surveying the BBC, they are inconsistent in usage. I found some variation even within a single piece. Sloppy.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Not to be persnickety
by Eddyspeeder on Sun 27th Jun 2010 11:34 in reply to "RE[2]: Not to be persnickety"
Eddyspeeder Member since:
2006-05-10

I do see your point. "Microsoft Corporation" is a single legal entity or juridical individual. So in that context, I think it is even better to refer to it in a singular sense.

It is these types of ambiguities that have warranted the use of the singular form, which is also a form of consistency. The rule of thumb I use myself is: "if I would replace the noun with a description of what it conveys, is the description singular or plural?"
Example:
"[The legal entity] has issued more shares."
"Microsoft has issued more shares." (singular)
"[The group of IE devs] have released IE9PP3."
"Microsoft have released IE9PP3." (plural)

The use of a singular sense has even expanded to plural nouns, such as "data", the plural form of "datum". Merriam-Webster provide a clear explanation with "usage": http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/data

Reply Parent Score: 1