A few datum points

A few datum points: “The word data is the plural of Latin datum, ‘something given,’ but it is not always treated as a plural noun in English. The plural usage is still common, as this headline from the _New York Times_ attests: ‘Data Are Elusive on the Homeless.’ Sometimes scientists think of data as plural, as in _These data do not support the conclusions_. But more often scientists and researchers think of data as a singular mass entity like information, and most people now follow this in general usage. Sixty percent of the Usage Panel accepts the use of data with a singular verb and pronoun in the sentence _Once the data is in, we can begin to analyze it_. A still larger number, 77 percent, accepts the sentence _We have very little data on the efficacy of such programs_, where the quantifier very little, which is not used with similar plural nouns such as facts and results, implies that data here is indeed singular.”