apple posted:My question: Is it acceptable in speaking to use singular “there is” for plural nouns such as “there’s only three people”?
“We’d eat at Sizzler and my mom would be like ‘there’s only three people here, there’s not five,’” recalls Anne . . . .
Native speakers rarely use "there is" with plural nouns, but it is very common in informal conversation for native speakers to use "there's" with plural nouns.
Even though "there's" is short for "there is," the reduction is important here. It doesn't sound nearly as bad to have lack of plural concord with "there's."
Please note that Time has not itself committed the "error." The "error" occurs in quoted speech. Time would also not use "be like" instead of "say."