Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39436.620926.47 (Published 03 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:52

Our question, “Was the media understandably confused over the link between breastfeeding and IQ” (24 November, p 1074; doi: 10.1136/bmj.39401.651146.0F) brought indignant letters from readers with a grammatical penchant, so we looked for advice on whether “the media is” or “the media are.” The word is likely to be singular in a generation or two, say the journalists who write the Grammarphobia blog (www.grammarphobia.com/grammar.html). Technically plural Latin and Greek words that have become thoroughly anglicised include agenda, erotica, insignia, and opera, and data has joined them in many publications. Media seems to be going the same way–journalists are already using “mediums” as the plural. But for now, in the BMJ we’ll try to remember that “media are” and “data are.”

A 65 year follow-up of a cohort living in England and Scotland has found evidence for a link between a family diet rich in dairy products and a greater risk of colorectal cancer in adulthood (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007;86:1722-9; www.ajcn.org). During the follow-up period, 770 cancer registrations and deaths occurred. Compared with low dairy intake of dairy products in childhood, high intake was associated with a …

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