Austria was united in its desire for history to be repeated with a possible â€śWonder in Viennaâ€?.
When in doubt, rephrase.
Good idea, but we were kind of trying to resolve the rule in this case. Totally agree with rewording when ambiguous though.
All of Austria was.
There is only one all.
Edit: not correct in this case, BD.
"All of Austria were united" ... er, I think not.
Well, if I take Krieg's BBC link at face value:
All - with plural or singular verb forms
However, if we wish to specify the things or people under discussion, we can use all or all of with nouns and pronouns and the correspondingly correct singular or plural verb forms. Compare the following:
All (of) my friends have come to my party.
All of us are going to Sam's party next week. We're all going.
All of them were singing Happy Birthday.
They were all singing Happy Birthday when the lights went out.
Based on the BBC rules given, I think I would be more inclined to use are/were, as the spirit of the "all of Austria" comes from "All Austrians.
"Were" for UK English, "was" for US. Of save the bother and rewrite it, like "The entire country of Austria was..." or "Everyone in Austria was..."
Hmmm, really wondering if this is an "IBM are" vs. "IBM is" issue.
(On a side-note, back in Yankee-land during baseball games we had IBM commercials having you guess the correct baseball call in tricky situations called "IBM present(s): You make the call!" Perhaps during cricket matches you Limeys had "IBM present(): You make the call!"
Not in my part of the US. I learned that it basically depended on what "all" referred to. All of the best people were hip to that, although all of Tennessee was not.
Another good point. But the example asks the questions whether "of Tennessee" refers to "people" and for that matter, whether "of Tennessee" refers to all of the best people in Tennessee, assuming there are good people from Tennessee.
Often, people have a strong opinion about things, and indeed, credence is befitting to "how something sounds".
Albeit, when in doubt, a good rule look-up solves the deal for me, rather than how things sound. When pub-speak starts sounding normal, that's when things start going awry.
Lunatical rant over...