59% of the global instances of (BrE) climbing frame are from UK sites
whereas only about 1 in 27 global instances of jungle gym are UKish
1 in 40 instances of mashed potatoes are from UK sites
but 1 in 3 instances of mashed potato are from UK sites
So...is it a British thing to ignore the plural marking on premises?
23% of the world's this premises are on UK sitesIt looks like the British use the singular version to some extent, but probably were not the originators of it, or else we'd probably see them having a greater proportion of the world hits.
24% of the world's these premises are on UK sites
This premises accounts for about 11% of the total this/these premises in the UK.
I also compared .ac.uk sites versus .edu sites as a way of comparing UK and US that avoids the trap of the international .com.
About 3% of this/these premises on .ac.uk sites were this premises.So, it does not seem to be a feature of 'educated' language, but it's more common in BrE academic circles than AmE ones.
About 1.5% of this/these premises on .edu sites were this premises.
So whose form is it? My money was on Australian English, which gives us this window dressing:
Comparing world hits to .au hits gives us:
1 in 19 these premises is AustralianAnd, consistent with these findings, Australians are fairly happy to write the premises is (40%) rather than the premises are.
1 in 4 this premises is Australian
Australians write this premises 37% of the time.
(Feel free to repeat the exercise with New Zealand and South Africa to see if it is general antipodean English--I'm coming down with a severe case of Googler's neck.)
But then I was re-reading Arnold Zwicky's post from last month about this premises (looking at why it is that something with an apparent plural suffix would be treated as a singular), I noticed mollymooly's comment (hello!): 'Irish law treats “premises” as singular, e.g. “any premises or any part of a premises” in S.60(2)b of the Insurance Act'. And, whoa, look at this:
Irish English uses the premises is and this premises nearly twice as often as the premises are and these premises.Which is to say that you only had to read all that about Australian English because I wrote it before reading M's comment. And, to be honest, I'm fairly surprised to find it so close to England, but so far as well. Did the Australians get it from the Irish, or is it arising separately there? Are the proportions in Scotland different from those in England? Those are questions I'm not prepared to answer.
16% (1 in 6) of the this premises on the web are Irish.
1 in 75 of the these premises on the web are Irish.
(God knows, someone new to the blog is going to want to mention math(s) in the comments. Don't do that. Click here instead.)
Oh, and by the way, BOO!