It’s ‘Brinkmanship,’ Not ‘Brinksmanship;’ And ‘Data’ Are Almost Always Plural

Another week, another shutdown showdown. In searching for ways to describe what’s going on with the negotiations, we’ve occasionally turned to a word that’s something of an old favorite at times such as these. But, we haven’t always got it quite right.

“Brinkmanship” is the word to use if you have to, not “brinksmanship.” The former is the preferred version in our dictionary and it is by far the more common usage according to Google Books’ Ngram Viewer. (H/T to Kevin Drum and Mother Jones.)

While we’re nagging, here’s a reminder from our style guide about something we’ve reminded everyone about before.

“DATA (DAY-tuh): A plural noun, it usually takes plural verbs and pronouns: The data have been collected (individual items). But it can also be used as a collective noun, which takes a singular verb: The data is sound (regarded as a whole unit).”

(“Memmos;” Feb. 7, 2018)

February 7, 2018

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