QUESTION: What do Senator Ted Cruz, President Obama, and Republican strategist Carl Rowe have in common?
ANSWER: Grammar problems. Their subjects don’t agree with their verbs.
GRAMMAR RULE: Singular subjects must take singular verbs See Stylebook §1.
• Senator Ted Cruz campaigning in Iowa: “Do you want to know how much each of you terrify Washington?”
Correction: “Do you want to know how much each of you terrifies Washington?”
(The word each is singular.)
• President Obama: “So far the data shows” that the crime level has essentially not risen.
Correction: “So far the data show” that the crime level has essentially not risen.
(The word data is singular.)
• Republican strategist Carl Rowe referring to Donald Trump’s attacks against Ben Carson and Marco Rubio: “Neither one of these attacks are particularly effective.”
Correction: “Neither one of these attacks is particularly effective.”
(Neither one is singular.)