Here's one that's bothering me. Is a sports team referred to as singular or plural in this instance:
Toronto was a lock as a ten-point favorite over Detroit.
Toronto were a lock as ten-point favorites over Detroit.
(I'm thinking the latter but "were a lock" just doesn't sound right for some reason)
I say singular. It's a team, a team is one thing. (Not a team are one thing! That's ridiculous!)
Just like the army is. Not the army are.
Frankly, I hate when people say "data are" as well.
Grammar Girl says most American style guides advise treating team names as plural, even when they're not ("The Miami Heat are a lock"). However, they're singular when referred to by city ("Miami is a lock.") This is based on mostly newswriting style, which deals with the issue often.
However, British English does the plural thing with cities ("Miami are a lock."), and I'm not totally sure where that leaves Canada, for instance.
You run into the same problem but a different answer with bands. In American English, "Lynyrd Skynyrd is awesome!" and "The Strokes are okay." When it comes to bands, American English goes with whether the name itself is plural.
In British English "Lynyrd Skynyrd are awesome!" and "The Strokes are okay." The idea being that consistency is king.
Ooo, wait, you're right. The Cubs are, but Chicago is. Shit, yeah, grammar girl for the win again.
How is Grammar doing? She's still baking cookies I believe.
Sorry network error.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard would be plural since there are multiple singulars.
As an English teacher of 21 years (just retired) I used to tell my students to decide what they’re focusing on. If they are referring to the team, use singular but if they are referring to the players in that team, use plural. Same goes for any nouns of similar type. You can also use collective nouns in some cases e.g. a team of cricketers, a box of matches, a carton of milk especially where the head noun is uncountable as in the last example e.g. milk.