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In the voluminous study of Adolf Hitler, the emphasis has understandably been on the twelve harrowing years of the Third Reich, 1933 to 1945.

Is it OK that the noun "study" is in the singular. The more logic it seems to me using the plural. There are plenty of books about Hitler, not just one as the sentence suggests. I would understand using singular if there would be referred to one particular study in the form of a footnote. But it is not this case.

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  • It doesn't bother me enough to stop my eye. . . . But you should be aware that the author of this book you keep quoting is a journalist, not a scholar, and he occasionally expresses himself with a breezy indifference to the precise meanings of the terms he employs. May 7, 2016 at 13:23
  • I am not sure what you mean by the phrase "It doesn't bother me enough to stop my eye".
    – bart-leby
    May 7, 2016 at 13:31
  • I mean it's awkward, but it's not so jarringly incorrect that it makes me stop to figure out what the author intended it to mean. May 7, 2016 at 13:45

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Yes, the singular (or uncountable) is OK. This is using study in the general sense, meaning "the cultivation of a particular branch of learning, science, or art" or "application of the mental faculties to the acquisition of knowledge; such application in a particular field or to a specific subject".

For example,

New Approaches to the Study of Religion - Volume 2

or

Chemistry is the study of matter...

It looks a little unusual here because study in the general sense is not usually paired with an adjective like "voluminous", which sounds more like it should apply to one particular study (meaning one particular work or essay), but it is correct.

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