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Comment Re:You can't eliminate them (Score 1) 825

Are you suggesting that "the" is syntactically singular? The other speakers of English will be quite surprised to hear this. In any case, while there has indeed been a shift from plural "United States" to singular, it was certainly not a rapid change caused by the Civil War:

Comment Re:i agree 100% (Score 1) 942

You know, I hadn't thought about that. It's likely that presidential elections without an Electoral College would become more expensive by forcing the candidates to compete everywhere. I still think we should get rid of the EC for the reasons GP suggested--why should the election be decided by a handful of voters who, by an accident of demography, live in swing states?--but the possible added cost of a direct election is a consideration.

"Can you program?" "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"