Empathy and open-mindedness is/are what the world needs.

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EdisonBhola

Senior Member
Korean
Hi all,

Just now I came across a native speaker writing the following on Twitter:

Empathy and open-mindedness is what the world needs.

I understand that when two things are considered as a singular concept (e.g. fish and chips), a singular verb can be used. But in this case, isn't it stretching it a little too much to consider "empathy and open-mindedness" a single concept? Perhaps it's just a typo?

Many thanks! :)
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    If they have already been mentioned together and both speaker and listener agree that they more or less go together in this context, there is no problem with 'is'. It is context-dependent, for me.
     

    grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I agree that it's correct as is. If I were to rationalize it, I'd say empathy and open-mindedness is considered to be a single value there.
     

    TheMahiMahi

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Just now I came across a native speaker writing the following on Twitter:
    on Twitter:
    Well I think that's your answer right there.

    I understand that when two things are considered as a singular concept (e.g. fish and chips), a singular verb can be used. But in this case, isn't it stretching it a little too much to consider "empathy and open-mindedness" a single concept?
    I would say so. I personally see no real reason it's singular other than that it's a simple mistake. My bet is that the author doesn't particularly care if it's wrong or right, that's just what came out. Can't really expect much proofreading on Twitter after all.
     
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