AP Stylebook changes for 2008

I ordered the new version of the Associated Press Stylebook for my home use (we expect to get them in office soon). The book has a summary of the changes right after the foreword on a page titled "What’s New." One of the most interesting changes for grammar geeks is the "collective nouns" entry. Here is a part of the entry:

Collective nouns: Nouns that denote a unit take singular verbs and pronouns: class, committee, crowd, family, group, herd, jury, orchestra, team. …

Team names and band names, however, take plural verbs. The Miami Heat are battling for the league’s worst record.

That team and band names are to be treated as plural is a change. I am glad that the stylebook finally spells this out. Although we had been treating singular-sounding names as singular (The Who comes to mind), I agree with this rule. It’s easier to apply it consistently.

P.S. I guess that should be "The Who come to mind."

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.