Which Joe gave his name to ‘sloppy joes’? We look at five interesting sandwiches and their lexical origins.
‘A number of people is’ or ‘a number of people are’?
Although the expression ‘a number’ is strictly singular, the phrase ‘a number of’' is used with plural nouns (as what grammarians call a determiner (or determiner)). The verb should therefore be plural:
A number of people are waiting for the bus.
This is not the case with ‘the number’, which is still singular:
The number of people here has increased since this morning.
See other FAQs about language.
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, discover surprising and intriguing language facts from around the globe.
The definitions of ‘buddy’ and ‘bro’ in the OED have recently been revised. We explore their history and increase in popularity.