Arnold Zwicky has pointed out to me that the Oxford English Dictionary does indeed miss collaborative as a noun, and an anonymous correspondent (who cannot be named because he monkeys with Language Log projects while ostensibly at work) has alerted me to the fact that the word goes back at least to 1945. There is even a Wikipedia article on the Architects' Collaborative:
The Architects' Collaborative (TAC) was an American architectural firm formed by Walter Gropius and seven younger architects in 1945 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The other partners were Norman C. Fletcher (b. December 8, 1917), Jean B. Fletcher (1915—September 13, 1965), John C. Harkness (b. November 30, 1916), Sarah P. Harkness (b. July 8, 1914), Robert S. McMillan (April 3, 1916—March 14, 2001), Louis A. McMillen (October 21, 1916—May 8, 1998) and Benjamin C. Thompson (July 3, 1918—August 21, 2002). TAC have created many successful projects, and have been well-respected for its broad range of designs. One of TAC's specialties was designing public school buildings.
This should surely have made it into the OED by now. But it hasn't. C'mon, you Oxonian wordanistas! Get on it! Webster's is ahead of you: the entry for collaborative at least says "adjective or noun".
Syntactic note: no, it is not grammatical for Wikipedia to say *TAC have ... been well-respected for its broad range of designs: even in those (mainly British) dialects where TAC have is grammatical (plural agreement for nouns denoting collective groups of humans and similar institutions), you can't then switch to its broad range of designs: either it is a group of people, hence pronominalizable as they, or it is a school in a more abstract sense, pronominalizable as it, but not both in the same sentence. For example, (1) and (2) are both OK, not (3) or (4):
But that's OK; Wikipedia is a voluntary association, and we should cut it some grammatical slack.Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at January 23, 2007 07:14 PM