Mailing List Archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [tlug] Re: OT: Chicago Style

Shawn wrote:

> Neither Steven nor the manual are absolutely correct as depending on the
> context it could be used either way.

Being a prude I'll to disagree with you and point out that (in my
opinion) None is singular and being the subject of the verb, the verb
should also be singular. However language is a living thing and
especially when spoken, both the plural or singular are deemed
acceptable, though I personally like the singular best.


Usage Note: It is widely asserted that none is equivalent to no one, and
hence requires a singular verb and singular pronoun: None of the
prisoners was given his soup. It is true that none is etymologically
derived from the Old English word n, “one,” but the word has been used
as both a singular and a plural noun from Old English onward. The plural
usage appears in the King James Bible as well as the works of John
Dryden and Edmund Burke and is widespread in the works of respectable
writers today. Of course, the singular usage is perfectly acceptable.
The choice between a singular or plural verb depends on the desired
effect. Both options are acceptable in this sentence: None of the
conspirators has (or have) been brought to trial. When none is modified
by almost, however, it is difficult to avoid treating the word as a
plural: Almost none of the officials were (not was) interviewed by the
committee. None can only be plural in its use in sentences such as None
but his most loyal supporters believe (not believes) his story. See
Usage Note at every. See Usage Note at neither. See Usage Note at nothing.

Home | Main Index | Thread Index

Home Page Mailing List Linux and Japan TLUG Members Links