A common error in modern writing looks a little like this:
“Microsoft announced they are releasing a new Xbox console next week…”
Since Microsoft is a company made up of many people, it’s easy to make this mistake. But companies are always its, not theys.
“Microsoft announced it is releasing…”
Another variation on this rule is to remember to use which instead of who.
(Wrong) “Apple, Inc., who brought the world the iPod…”
(Right) “Apple, Inc., which brought the world the iPod…”
Here are some quotations from mainstream publications that illustrate the point:
Last week, at the Gnomedex technology conference in Seattle, Microsoft announced it is building the ability to detect, display and subscribe to RSS (The Guardian)
Second, Microsoft has devised a new strategy, called .NET, under which it will try to recast itself as a provider of Internet-based software services rather (The Economist)
Michele Brosius, a 49-year-old blogger from Pillow, Pa., says she’s not deleting her Facebook account, either. She knew from the moment she put her data on the Internet that it was up for grabs. Facebook isn’t the only one tracking her. Anytime she uses a store rewards card, a credit card, takes surveys or picks up an electronic device, she knows someone’s watching her.