Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

The company's pronoun: "They" or "It"?


Swanilda8

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone - I have a question for the general ballet wisdom. I'm finishing up my dissertation and fixing all the nitpicky little grammatical details (so close I can taste it!). And I realized that I can't decide what the appropriate pronoun for a dance company should be. Which of the following two examples reads better?

"Such was the tumult that greeted the Soviet Union’s Bolshoi Ballet when it appeared in the United States in 1959 for its first ever engagement in the Western hemisphere."

"Such was the tumult that greeted the Soviet Union’s Bolshoi Ballet when they appeared in the United States in 1959 for their first ever engagement in the Western hemisphere."

I hope this is the correct place for this question - if not, I apologize to the moderators!

Link to post

A company is a singular entity, and uses the singular pronoun. People often refer to the members of the ensemble as a whole, which would use the plural pronoun, but all the stylesheets I've worked with refer to the company as "it."

Glad to hear that you're getting close to the end -- let us know when we pop the virtual champagne!

Link to post

I have never been able to get used to the British practice of referring to sports teams in the plural--that is when teams don't have a plural name as American teams generally do.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35825201
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3500841/Manchester-United-agree-preliminary-contract-Jose-Mourinho-succeed-Louis-van-Gaal-according-reports.html

Link to post

I like the British usage; i went to grad school there and adopted some Briticisms [ though by no means all -- I still say "fetch" and "y'all"] -- but this one appeals to me because it's emotionally right, and I use it in reviewing when what I'm really talking about is company performance [if I've got the dancers on my mind]; if I'm referring to the institution, I'll usually use "its."

I treat it as one of those entities that can be both a mass noun [e.g., "so much water"] or a count noun [e.g., "so many chairs"].

Link to post

I think the British tend to use the plural (as in "The Royal Ballet are going on tour," "the public don't know what they want" and "the family have expressed their wishes"). American usage tends more to "it" or "its." I'd say it's one of those "when in Rome" questions. If you're an American writing for an American audience , "it" or "its" will seem more natural and less of a potential distraction for your readers (and less distracting for you if you avail yourself of style/grammar check, which may correct you if you go for the plural).

Link to post

I think the British tend to use the plural (as in "The Royal Ballet are going on tour," "the public don't know what they want" and "the family have expressed their wishes"). American usage tends more to "it" or "its." I'd say it's one of those "when in Rome" questions. If you're an American writing for an American audience , "it" or "its" will seem more natural and less of a potential distraction for your readers (and less distracting for you if you avail yourself of style/grammar check, which may correct you if you go for the plural).

Thank you for explaining what's going on! I am an American but right now live in Europe where I spend most of my time with British people, and I may have picked up some of their speech patterns. I will stick with the American form in my diss, as I'm enrolled at an American university. Thanks again to everyone who responded!

Link to post

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...