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Business Writing With Buzz

How well do you know the company you keep?

Rosemary Gillespie - Sunday, May 02, 2010

Your business is a singular collective noun.

What do I mean?

I recently edited a marketing document for a thriving business that got its grammatical position as a singular collective noun correct from the first draft.

I admit I was surprised. Why?

Well, it’s very common for writers (both professionals and in-house staff) to describe the company (or organisation) they work for in the plural. This is something I see constantly, and it's incorrect. A business, company or organisation is a single entity. It is a singular collective noun.

For example, we often read, “TWP are the biggest online publishers”. It should say, “TWP is the biggest online publisher”.

Or, “RST have won the biggest government tender”. It should say, “RST has won the biggest government tender".

Remember though, it’s correct to use the plural when writing about your business as “we”. So, it’s fine to say, “At RST, we have the best tender writing team in Australia”.


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