Matching a collective noun with an appropriate verb can take a little thought.
Collective nouns include board, committee, family, couple, faculty, jury and more. They represent groups, usually people, that may be acting as a single entity (the committee is required to act) or as individuals (the committee are at odds regarding the next move).
A story in the Toronto Star reported that the marriage of a particular couple "was on the rocks and the couple was embroiled in acrimonious divorce proceedings . . .."
Far from acting as a single entity in this regard, the couple were acting (scrapping, actually, with each other) as individuals. So I'd say the couple were embroiled, wouldn't you? If the couple had been disputing a property assessment, it would be doing so as an entity (the couple was disputing the assessment).
For nouns such as audience, board, committee, faculty and jury, one can add the word members to indicate the plural and the problem is solved. Couple (or pair or duo) is a bit different. So be careful.
More from the Maddren File, from Judy Maddren's days as Broadcast Language Adviser for CBC National Radio News:
-- To "beg the question" means to assume the truth of the thing that is to be proven. An example might be "Capital punishment is
necessary because without it murders would increase."
Most speakers use the phrase intending it to mean that a question begs to be asked. This is wrong.
Use instead "prompts the question" or "raises the question."
-- People are not confined to wheelchairs. They are simply in them, use them and/or need them. (Point raised by CBC correspondent Michael McAuliffe and passed along to staff by Judy.)
-- A reminder about the owner of a restaurant. The word is restaurateur. One dines in a restaurant, but there is no n in restaurateur. It is pronounced RES-tah-raw-TOOR.
Thanks again, Judy.