Most style guides and dictionaries have come to accept the use of the noun data with either singular or plural verbs, and we hereby join the majority.
‘Write as short as you can/ In order/ Of what matters,’ John Berryman counseled in a pre-tweet of 44 characters.
The problem with the dash—as you may have noticed!—is that it discourages truly efficient writing. It also—and this might be its worst sin—disrupts the flow of a sentence. Don’t you find it annoying—and you can tell me if you do, I won’t be hurt—when a writer inserts a thought into the midst of another one that’s not yet complete?
It is wrong to think that the sentence is a mere slave, whose function is to bear content, which, while being the really important thing, is also something that could equally have been borne by another. Change the shape and ring, and you change everything.
People with Asperger’s possess an extreme sensitivity to the visual and affective power of metaphorical language, a sensitivity that compels them to take things literally, because they do not know how else to take them.