The Miami Dolphins is 0-6

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The Miami Dolphins is 0-6

Post by slaks » Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:49 am

I saw this on a sports program today and it does not appear to be proper, but if you say it this way: The Miami Dolphins team is 0-6, then that seems correct. So without the word team added, is the first statement correct? Does the second statment denote posession and require an apostophe?
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The Miami Dolphins is 0-6

Post by agilis » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:04 am

But it is proper, if not familiar. The team is a single entity, unless you are talking about the team members as a collection of individuals, as "Miami Dolphins have excellent health benefits, and are generally well paid.

Until the American Civil War the usual national designation was 'These United States'. 'The United States' reflects a later political reality.
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The Miami Dolphins is 0-6

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:41 am

I think the usage falls into a grey, and, for some, contentious, area. Both the 'is' and 'are' variants seem acceptable to me: it is not always clear-cut, when referring to a sports team, whether the team is being viewed as a collective entity or as a set of individuals.

In addition, since TV commentaries are usually live, it is not reasonable to hold the commentators to the stricter grammatical standards that one might expect someone like the narrator of a documentary, who usually has the benefit of a script and a post-editing process, to conform to.

To answer your second question, "The Miami Dolphins team is 0-6" is correct as it stands; and so is the alternative version you are suggesting, "The Miami Dolphins' team is 0-6". When this sentence is spoken, as it could have been in the broadcast you viewed, it would be impossible to tell from the intonation whether the team was being conceived of by the speaker as "The [Miami Dolphins = adjectival phrase] [team = noun]" or "The [Miami Dolphins' = noun phrase plus possessive apostrophe] [team = noun]", so it would largely be a question of interpretation on the part of each individual viewer (assuming that it actually mattered to them :-).
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The Miami Dolphins is 0-6

Post by paulwiggins » Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:43 am

The matter is argues. U.S> writers favour the singular.

I agree with the following:
A headline England is in trouble indicates the Tories are back in power.
England are in trouble indicates it is cricket as usual against Australia.
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The Miami Dolphins is 0-6

Post by russcable » Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:50 am

Which team do the Miami Dolphins own? (^_^)
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The Miami Dolphins is 0-6

Post by hsargent » Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:53 pm

The newspapers would say "The Miami Dolphins are 0-6." No one would add team. The Dolphins would not possess the record so no apostrophes.
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The Miami Dolphins is 0-6

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:11 am

Well, that's all cleared up then.
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