Here is from an article from the Economist magazine:

One drug he talks about is an antidepressant called reboxetine (branded as Edronax by
its makers, Pfizer) that he used to prescribe to his patients.

Pfizer is a drug company. It is a singular noun.
Why is it described as its makers, which is plural?

  • It's common in BrE to refer to companies in the plural. In AmE, the singular is used. Jul 26 '15 at 13:16

The style guide of The Economist says:


There is no firm rule about the number of a verb governed by a singular collective noun. It is best to go by the sense--that is, whether the collective noun stands for a single entity or for its constituents.

So it is correct to refer to organizational names either as singular or plural but not both--that is, there should be a constancy in writing.

In this case the author wishes to emphasize the individuals of the company.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.