[R] OT --- grammar.

Ted Harding ted@h@rd|ng @end|ng |rom w|@ndre@@net
Mon Jun 25 00:44:30 CEST 2018

On Mon, 2018-06-25 at 09:46 +1200, Rolf Turner wrote:
> Does/should one say "the degrees of freedom is defined to be" or "the 
> degrees of freedom are defined to be"?
> Although value of "degrees of freedom" is a single number, the first 
> formulation sounds very odd to my ear.
> I would like to call upon the collective wisdom of the R community to 
> help me decide.
> Thanks, and my apologies for the off-topic post.
> cheers,
> Rolf Turner

Interesting question, Rolf!
>From my point of view. I see "degrees of freedon" as a plural noun,
because of "degrees". But in some cases, we have only 1 degree of
freedon. Then the degrees of freedon is 1.

But we do not say, in that case, "the degree of freedom is defined
to be", or the degree of freedom are 1"

Nor would we say "The degrees of freedom are 19".!

So I thonk that the solution is to encapsulate the term within
aingle quotes, so that it becomes a singular entity. Thus:

The 'degrees of freedom' is defined to be ... "; and
The 'degrees of freedom' is 1.
The degrees of freedom' is 19.

This is not the same issue as (one of my prime hates) saying
"the data is srored in the dataframe ... ". "Data" is a
plural noun (ainguler "datum"), and I would insist on
"the data are stored ... ". The French use "une donnee" and
"les donnees"; the Germans use "ein Datum", "der Daten";
so they know what they're doing! English-speakers mostly do not"

Best wishes to all,

More information about the R-help mailing list