Doctor X wrote:Cogent words of cogency to be Ignored by the Great Unwashed at Their Peril.
But "recipients," "households," and "people" are plural.
They are not the subjects. "Percent," "half," and "third" are the subjects. They garner the は.
However, where the confusion arises is explained by this:
Fractions and percentages take a singular verb with a noncount noun, and a plural verb with plural count nouns.
Half of the population is in favour [!--Ed.] of reform.
Fifty per cent [!--Ed.] of the voters are in favour [!--Ed.] of reform.Great Unwashed Reference
What do Australians know of English? Here is the problem:
Fifty percent is/are in favor or reform.
Which is it? You naturally want to make "fifty percent" the genitive and demand to know the hidden nominative even though "fifty percent" acts as the nominative. Perhaps it is a genitive absolute [Stop that!--Ed.]
Continuing with the madness:
Plural units of measurement, time and money take singular verbs.
A thousand kilometres is a long way.
Five million dollars is what the business needs.
here they are viewed as a single unit. Yet which do you say?:
Five hours is needed to decapitate your ex-girlfriend with a plastic spork.
Five hours are needed to decapitate your ex-girlfriend with a plastic spork.
By the way language develops, both have become correct based on what is emphasized. In the former, it is a block unit of time, in the later, it conveys a collection of units of time. I mean, really, show some initiative and it should only take you an hour.
Frankly, I worry more about those who "feel good."
--J. "A Shibboleth Up Which I Will Not Put!" D.