Proper verb for Thunder could create grammatical rumble

In the case of Oklahoma City's National Basketball Association entry, “Thunder” is a collective noun.
By Gene Owens Published: November 16, 2010
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“Thunder gets Bullish,” read the headline in the Swayback Daily Kick.

John C. Litke wondered why the verb was “gets” instead of “get.” He reckons “Thunder” could be singular or plural, just as “data” can be either, “but consistency seems to indicate that the plural is more common.”

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 “Thunder.”

“An Oklahoma City Thunder Blog,” “Real Basketball Talk” and “Every Joe Sports and Entertainment News” all used plural verbs.

Buck sides with the newspapers.

In the case of Oklahoma City's National Basketball Association entry, “Thunder” 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.