Thursday, August 25, 2011

Multiple of the people

In his post on numerous, yesterday, Geoff Pullum noted that philosopher James Dreier had sent him some examples of multiple as a determinative but didn't provide any examples. I couldn't find any in the COCA or BNC, but here are some from the web:
  • about a certain item, a book, that very likely implies that multiple of the people who visit your site are all set to make a purchase.
  • Right, except in the videos, multiple of the people putting them up are actually doing the objective
  • Multiple of the people I met were also in love with the spirituality in India, while others were enamored with the Architecture in India.
  • ...recommended it include multiple of the people responsible for the Solaris Certification exams.
  • Multiple of the people have considered this acne skin care step as one of the most essential acne skin care pointers
  • The food is amazing, this is largely in part to the fact that multiple of the people crashing at the house are fabulous cooks
  • We were certainly approached and had discussions with multiple of the people who were awarded money, about whether or not we wanted to lock ...
  • You can also select multiple of the same object.
  • We analyzed a panel of viruses derived from HIV-1 NL43, which carry point mutations at single or multiple of the cleavage sites in Gag [24], [27], ...
As you can see in the last example, we also have a hint that single might head down that same path.

1 comment:

Ran said...

For what it's worth, "numerous of […]" and "multiple of […]" both sound really O.K. to me, especially the latter. In fact, thanks to the magic of Gmail search, I find that I myself used it a year ago June, in the sentence, "After passing through multiple of what I can best describe as open souvenir markets, we visited a church with a bell in it." (Though my use of "open" to mean "open-air" suggests that I may not have been at peak writing ability.) I guess a different speaker might have preferred "more than one of"?

I find "single or multiple of ..." a bit iffier, but its acceptability is probably helped by the common phrase "single-point mutations", which also probably contributed to its occurrence here.

A hypothetical *"single of ..." is absolute crazy talk. :-P