Question: "Integrative transcriptomics" reveal or reveals?
gravatar for sebastian.lobentanzer
12 weeks ago by
sebastian.lobentanzer10 wrote:

Hi everybody,

I realize this is an unusual question for this forum, but I though this would nevertheless be the right place to ask. I am starting a sentence with "Integrative transcriptomics" and want to say reveal or reveals after that. The ...omics words can generally be used in singular or plural meaning, but I am not a native speaker, so I am not certain which is better in this case. I am leaning towards the plural form, i.e. "Integrative transcriptomics reveal ...", but this is purely gut feeling. Also, the sentence refers to multiple transcriptomic methods, so this adds to my plural "feel".

Any opinions? Can I freely choose, or is there something else to consider?

Thanks! Sebastian

ADD COMMENTlink modified 12 weeks ago by Gordon Smyth38k • written 12 weeks ago by sebastian.lobentanzer10

Has your question been answered? The general idea of a forum like this is that you can either accept an answer or add a comment explaining what else you were after.

ADD REPLYlink written 11 weeks ago by Gordon Smyth38k

Hi Gordon, thanks for the extensive answer! Sorry for the delayed response.

ADD REPLYlink written 11 weeks ago by sebastian.lobentanzer10
Answer: "Integrative transcriptomics" reveal or reveals?
gravatar for Gordon Smyth
12 weeks ago by
Gordon Smyth38k
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia
Gordon Smyth38k wrote:

"Genetics", "bioinformatics", "genomics", "proteomics" and "transcriptomics" are all treated as uncountable nouns in English, so you should choose the verb as if they were singular. For example, Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution (Science, 2014):

It is the same as for other uncountable nouns like "water", "money", "beer", "politics" or "economics". In English we say "money reveals the heart" and "beer solves all problems". It is said that the word "genomics" was coined by an American over a beer, so perhaps there is a moral in that.

By contrast, "methods" are countable so we would say "Several methods for comparative genomics reveal ..."

English is a fluid thing though and you will find some examples in the literature of where one or more of the "omics" words are treated as plural, but this usage is in the minority.

ADD COMMENTlink modified 12 weeks ago • written 12 weeks ago by Gordon Smyth38k
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