â€œThunder gets Bullish,â€ read the headline in the Swayback Daily Kick.
John C. Litke wondered why the verb was â€œgetsâ€ instead of â€œget.â€ He reckons â€œThunderâ€ could be singular or plural, just as â€œdataâ€ can be either, â€œbut consistency seems to indicate that the plural is more common.â€
It depends on whether you're reading the blogs or the newspapers, John.
The bloggers seem to prefer the plural verb, and the newspapers prefer the singular verb.
Buck's quick check online showed that The Oklahoman, the Muskogee Phoenix and the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star all used singular verbs with â€œThunder.â€
â€œAn Oklahoma City Thunder Blog,â€ â€œReal Basketball Talkâ€ and â€œEvery Joe Sports and Entertainment Newsâ€ all used plural verbs.
Buck sides with the newspapers.
In the case of Oklahoma City's National Basketball Association entry, â€œThunderâ€ is a collective noun.
In American English, collective nouns take singular verbs when they refer to the unit as a whole. They take plural nouns only when referring to the individuals that comprise the units.
So, the Thunder beat the Bulls, but the Thunder were assembled from a variety of college or minor league teams.
Since the singular verb sounds odd to Buck, he would rephrase: â€œThe Thunder players were assembled ... .â€
When the team's nickname is plural, use the plural verb at all times. When the Oklahoma State Cowboys defeated Baylor, it was OK to write a headline that read, â€œCowboys beat Bears, 55-28.â€
But you would write â€œOklahoma State beats Baylor.â€
â€œHow come the Stanford Cardinal is singular?â€ Floyd asked.
â€œBeats me,â€ Buck said.
Send questions for Buck to Gene Owens, 315 Lakeforest Circle, Anderson, SC 29625, or e-mail him at Bucks