One of my last tasks as Guild Master was to come up with a generic recruitment macro that the officers could post in trade every once in a while. It’s been successful from what I can tell; none of the officers have been harassed by trade chat trolls and the recruits all seem like a good fit. But, there’s one problem: a trade chat good samaritan informed one of our officers that I had gotten the grammar wrong. It should read that ‘Concur IS a guild’, and not ‘Concur ARE a guild’ like I have it written. Huh?
This is where I make a confession. I like to think that I have an alright understanding of how the English language works, but I don’t know technical terms to describe exactly how it works. So when the officer agreed that the grammar was in fact wrong and she changed the macro, I couldn’t explain why I thought I was right and so I simply let it slide.
I have since asked another friend who does know the technical terms, and she explained it to me that I was using the name of our guild to describe a team and gave me an example as to why she believed I was right: “You don’t say, ‘West Coast Eagles is a football team from Western Australia’, you say ‘West Coast Eagles are a football team from Western Australia’ because you’re talking about a collective of people. In this case, you’re referring to the guild as a team of people, therefore using the word ‘are’ is correct.”
What do you lovely readers think? Should a recruitment macro be written like an advertisement for a company, (‘KFC is a fast food chain’) or like a promotion for a team (‘The Red Sox are a baseball team’)? Does it depend on the kind of guild you’re running, or have we all got it completely wrong? Let me know in the comments below!
EDIT: For clarification sake, this is the macro text we were using: “/2 <Concur> are an established West Australian (GM+8) guild who are looking for more casual, relaxed players to join the ranks. Don’t be just another number, be a part of our family. PST for more info or visit http://concur.wowstead.com“
EDIT 2: An astute commentator on the Neri Approves Facebook page shared this link, which suggests that “is” is the correct word. HOWEVER, US and Briton handle it differently, and since I am Australian, using “are” could be acceptable for me and my Australian guild, but if you’re American, you would say “is’. I think… Dear god, how do people even learn to speak our crazy language?!