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data

Data is a Latin plural which is often used as a singular or collective noun. (The Latin singular datum is seldom used, except occasionally in the sciences.)

  • These data from the early experiments are thoroughly convincing.
  • This new data means the end of life as we know it.

Those wishing to avoid having to choose between singular and plural can simply recast the sentence using information, facts or some similar noun.

  • These findings from the early experiments are thoroughly convincing.
  • This new information means the end of life as we know it.

In computer usage, data is almost always singular.

  • Data moves very quickly from the Web to the PC user, if a high-speed cable modem is used.

Never use a number as a modifier for data as in “five data”; rather, refer to “five pieces of data.”

  • Twenty-two pieces of confidential data were received early yesterday morning from China.

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