Grammar nerd question
January 9, 2013 1:53 PM Subscribe
Which is correct?
a) "Led Zeppelin is a band"
b) "Led Zeppelin are a band"
posted by deathpanels to Writing & Language (30 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Initially I was confident that a) was correct because "Led Zeppelin" is singular, but I am uncomfortable with this answer because it becomes inconsistent when the plurality of the band name shifts – e.g., "The Turtles is a band" feels wrong, while "The Turtles are a band" feels right.
It seems like the choice of is vs. are determines if we are talking about the band as a unit or as individual members. E.g., "John Bonham and Jimmy Page are playing music" but "Led Zeppelin is playing music".
I also suspect the answer might have something to do with band names being proper nouns – my grammar knowledge is sparse and spotty, but if I recall, English grammarians grant proper nouns special privileges as a part of speech in some cases. Someone with better grammar skills than me: please, throw me a bone!