Re: Explorers ARE; Explorer Program IS
Russ Jones (CSRTJ@TTUHSC.EDU)
Mon, 17 Feb 1997 23:24:21 -0600
On Mon, 17 Feb 1997, Cheryl Singhal wrote:
>Sorry, I can't agree with this, even if I did see your point the first
>Change co-ed to almost any other noun, say teenaged. You would not say
>Explorers is teenaged, you would match subject and verb: Explorers are
>teenaged. Explorers ARE blonde; Explorers ARE children; Explorers ARE
>fun; Explorers ARE whatever.
>I have been assuming that someone at National saw this nasty little
>problem early on and decided to use Explorer Scouts as the ID. Not that
>that helps a lot, because Scouts ARE children, Scouts ARE fun, Scouts ARE
>teenaged, but Scouts are NOT co-ed.
Maybe this is just one of those things that makes English such a difficult
language to learn. The problem here is not the agreement between subject
and verb, but rather the attempt to modify a noun denoting animate subjects
with an adjective which can only be correctly applied to inanimate subjects;
this sets up a logical impossibility. If one could be logically correct in
saying "the Explorer is coed," then one would also be able to say "Explorers
are coed." But, since no one person can be both male and female, it does
not make grammatical sense to refer to the persons in the Exploring program
as coed. It isn't the kids who are coed, it is the program, so a better
construction would be to say "Exploring is coed," "Explorer Scouting is
coed," or "Explorer Scouts is a coed program."
BTW, as used above, coed and teenaged are not nouns, they're adjectives.
Coed can be used as a noun, however, in which case it would be grammatically
correct to say either "the Explorer is a coed" or "Explorers are coeds." A
kid can't be coed, but he or she can be a coed.
Confusing, isn't it? :-)
Yours in Scouting,
Russ Jones <email@example.com>
Scoutmaster, Troop 575 & National Jamboree Troop 1636
South Plains Council, Lubbock, Texas
Eagle Scout, class of 1965
"I used to be a fox..." SC-295
"I used to be a staffer..." SC-430, SR-110, SR-206
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City