"1 in 10 kids" is or are?
October 3, 2011 11:07 PM Subscribe
Poking the grammatical hornets' nest. As seen on CNN.com as a headline: "1 in 10 kids isn't (something not relevant)." I think it's ungrammatical, my co-workers think it's correct.
posted by sbutler to Writing & Language (53 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Their Logic: 1 is obviously singular, and in 10 kids is a prepositional phrase (or at least some kind of phrase) so the verb should be singular.
My Logic: we aren't talking about just a single kid. 1 in 10 kids is clearly talking about millions of kids, not one, and therefore the whole thing should be plural. If we said "10% of kids" we'd use the plural verb.
Anyone know what the style guides say? Authoritative answers or statistical arguments (that is, 80% of Americans do X) are also welcome.
Rhetorical: did I manage to avoid grammatical errors in my question?