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Old 09-17-2009, 07:43 AM   #51
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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Originally Posted by Archidictus View Post
Find me a complete sentence using the word "none" that functions properly with a plural verb form. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I can't think of one off the top of my head.
Couldn't i say "out of three choices none were correct"?

edit: (hit the wrong button) I mean the original question is just "none of them was." Which from what I am reading is too vague to make a yes/no call

Last edited by Falqon; 09-17-2009 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:03 AM   #52
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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Originally Posted by Falqon View Post
Couldn't i say "out of three choices none were correct"?

edit: (hit the wrong button) I mean the original question is just "none of them was." Which from what I am reading is too vague to make a yes/no call
"Out of three choices, not one was correct."

That doesn't support plurality.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:10 AM   #53
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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Originally Posted by Archidictus View Post
"Out of three choices, not one was correct."

That doesn't support plurality.
But is it not a valid sentance referring to the OP's question?

Either way, not trying to start an argument, I've lost track of where this is going so ok.

edit again: (stupid work and trying to answer the phone) like I said before, your website says you can use "None of the arguments were weak"
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:23 AM   #54
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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Originally Posted by Falqon View Post
But is it not a valid sentance referring to the OP's question?

Either way, not trying to start an argument, I've lost track of where this is going so ok.

edit again: (stupid work and trying to answer the phone) like I said before, your website says you can use "None of the arguments were weak"
Nice try, but I checked the link and nothing backs up your statement. Here are the examples used:

Example 1: Neither of the attorneys (was/were) available for comment.
Think: Not one of the attorneys was available for comment. (singular subject/singular verb)

Example 2: None of the documents (is/are) identified in the brief.
Think: Not one of the documents is identified in the brief. (singular subject/singular verb)

Example 3: Some of the arguments (was/were) weak.
Think: More than one of the arguments were weak. (plural subject/plural verb)

Clearly, some of the arguments were weak, as is yours.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:31 AM   #55
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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Originally Posted by Archidictus View Post
Find me a complete sentence using the word "none" that functions properly with a plural verb form. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I can't think of one off the top of my head.
While "none" is the negative equivalent of one (not one), there is no negative equivalent of two, three, four, etc. This is where none becomes plural.

None of the guests is arriving on time. ---> Not one of the guests is arriving on time.

Some of the guests are arriving on time and none of them are leaving.

Here you trick none into plural usage by being the negative to some, which is used as plural. It would still be grammatically correct to say "not one of them is leaving", but that effectively changes the meaning of the sentence. We're using none as a pronoun to refer to the same group of people as some, so both forms are plural and this sentence is correct.

F'in English.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:35 AM   #56
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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Originally Posted by jonebone View Post
Nice try, but I checked the link and nothing backs up your statement. Here are the examples used:

Example 1: Neither of the attorneys (was/were) available for comment.
Think: Not one of the attorneys was available for comment. (singular subject/singular verb)

Example 2: None of the documents (is/are) identified in the brief.
Think: Not one of the documents is identified in the brief. (singular subject/singular verb)

Example 3: Some of the arguments (was/were) weak.
Think: More than one of the arguments were weak. (plural subject/plural verb)

Clearly, some of the arguments were weak, as is yours.
too bad you didn't bother to quote the part right above it, would have made you look like less of a dolt

"Singular or Plural: all, any, none, some, such"
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:51 AM   #57
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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Originally Posted by jonebone View Post
While "none" is the negative equivalent of one (not one), there is no negative equivalent of two, three, four, etc. This is where none becomes plural.

None of the guests is arriving on time. ---> Not one of the guests is arriving on time.

Some of the guests are arriving on time and none of them are leaving.

Here you trick none into plural usage by being the negative to some, which is used as plural. It would still be grammatically correct to say "not one of them is leaving", but that effectively changes the meaning of the sentence. We're using none as a pronoun to refer to the same group of people as some, so both forms are plural and this sentence is correct.

F'in English.
Your example sentence is two separate clauses and none would still be properly seen as singular.

Some of the guests are arriving on time.

None of them is leaving.

Your example is not grammatically correct, as the second clause does not have proper noun-verb agreement.

Some of the guests are arriving on time. This sentence assumes that "guests" is a noun comprised of many individuals. Some of them are arriving on time. Great. Good for those punctual people. None of them is leaving. Not one of the guests is leaving. Not a single one. This is not in defiance of the use of some earlier in the multi-clause sentence.

You can't have a plural "none" just like you can have a plural numerical zero. None is a singularity. It means that less than one of something IS (as per noun usage). None of them is leaving, as a sentence, wouldn't make sense if "none" could refer to more than one entity, as it would then become an undefined numerical value of the whole "guest population" and, thus, be utter nonsense.

You wouldn't, for instance, say, "Some of the guests are arriving on time and no three of them are leaving." Could you? Sure, and in some strange-*** conversation it would be proper grammar, but you wouldn't be able to contract "no three" into the word "none". When you say "None are leaving," you mean, literally, that no single person is leaving. None is used to reduce the number of people leaving to its lowest possible whole number - one - in an effort to illustrate the lack of movement away from the party

It's complicated, and a bit stupid, but it's "correct".

Keep in mind, I'm not defending the rule for any other reason than to illustrate WHY it is thought of as correct. I don't think it's the best or most conventional or contemporary rule of speech, but it is what it is.

Ancient English rules are masturbatory in the same way doing a 6th derivative of something on notebook paper with an abacus is masturbatory. There are easier and more conventional ways of doing it that all understand, but specialists can feel secure in their cloisters by returning to those ancient and ridiculous practices that started the disciplines.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:51 AM   #58
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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too bad you didn't bother to quote the part right above it, would have made you look like less of a dolt

"Singular or Plural: all, any, none, some, such"
Yes I know how to read, and that's redundant since we already covered it above. Are you an idiot or just blind?

You tried to counter Arch's argument with a sentence that was equivalent to the examples he posted. It's one thing to have bad grammar; it's another thing to fail miserably when you are trying to be a grammar ****. Leave the debate to the educated, kthxbye.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:39 AM   #59
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

bla bla bla.
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I was just telling my roommate, Coal Vines is so good that you'll **** someone else's pants. Like, some black dude is going to be walking down the street, minding his own business. When all of a sudden, there you are, shitting in his pants. And he's like WTF!
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:56 AM   #60
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

One of them was skydiving.


Them = Subject
Skydiving = Verb

None of them was skydiving.

Them = Subject
Skydiving = Verb


What is, "none of them was skydiving"? for $100, Alex.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:36 AM   #61
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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Originally Posted by Archidictus View Post
Your inability to type in a way that makes sense kind of undercuts your opinion in this matter, don't you think?

Stop posting if you have no idea what you're talking about. This isn't a philosophical question where different opinions count for anything - language is quantifiable in its own right and the rules dictate that, barring certain strange exceptions, the word "none" is followed by a verb conjugation reflecting its singular nature.

There's no wiggle room here. You wouldn't say "No one were there," so you must afford the word "none" the same treatment.

You're problably right and I admit I typed in a manner that wasn't proper in a thread discussing grammar. I was rushing out of the office. But I still think what I was trying to say is correct. I will admit that I'm not the best debater but I do know basic english.
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:12 AM   #62
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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Originally Posted by slomofo View Post
Them = Subject
Skydiving = Verb
wrong! "Them" is the object of the preposition. For the purposes of identifying the sentence's core, all prepositional phrases can be removed.

One was skydiving.

None was skydiving.

PREPOSITIONS CANNOT BE THE SUBJECT OF THE SENTENCE.

A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition, followed by: an object of the preposition; or prepositional adjectives or adverbs, followed by an object of the preposition.

These are not a part of the subject.
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I was just telling my roommate, Coal Vines is so good that you'll **** someone else's pants. Like, some black dude is going to be walking down the street, minding his own business. When all of a sudden, there you are, shitting in his pants. And he's like WTF!
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:13 AM   #63
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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Originally Posted by Akuma View Post
wrong! "Them" is the object of the preposition. For the purposes of identifying the sentence's core, all prepositional phrases can be removed.

One was skydiving.

None was skydiving.

PREPOSITIONS CANNOT BE THE SUBJECT OF THE SENTENCE.

A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition, followed by: an object of the preposition; or prepositional adjectives or adverbs, followed by an object of the preposition.

These are not a part of the subject.

So none of them was correct?
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:14 AM   #64
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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So none of them was correct?
*thud*
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:20 AM   #65
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

LOLOLOL, I mean jajajajaja.
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:24 AM   #66
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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So none of them was correct?
yes, your answer was correct. I was merely pointing out that your reasoning was incorrect. You must look to the subject, not the object of the preposition, for subject/verb agreement.
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I was just telling my roommate, Coal Vines is so good that you'll **** someone else's pants. Like, some black dude is going to be walking down the street, minding his own business. When all of a sudden, there you are, shitting in his pants. And he's like WTF!
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:31 AM   #67
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

I just found this little doodad, which makes some good points. But in the end, it sounds to me like a simple relaxation of formality that has come to be acceptable through rampand useage throughout history.

It’s uncertain who started the notion that none requires a singular verb, but it’s pervasive, both in the US and Britain, and seems to have been drummed into the heads of generations of schoolchildren. However, all the usage guides — and the usage notes in every dictionary that I can find — are unanimous in saying that it’s wrong.

The argument stems from a misunderstanding of where the word comes from. People assume that none is a condensed form of no one or not one. As both always take a singular verb, the argument goes, so must none. However, the amateur etymologisers have got it slightly but seriously wrong. Our modern form none comes from the Old English nan. Though this is indeed a contraction of ne an, no one, it was inflected in Old English and had different forms in singular and plural, showing that it was commonly used both ways — King Alfred used it in the plural as far back as the year 888.

The big Oxford English Dictionary has a whole section on the plural form of none, pointing out that it is frequently used to mean “no persons” (with writers preferring no one when they mean the singular) and that historical records show that its use in the plural is actually more common than in the singular. There are examples cited in the entry from many of the best English writers (and there’s also an instance in the Authorised Version of the Bible: “None of these things move me”, from Acts, chapter 20). On modern usage, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage says, “It appears that writers generally make it singular or plural according to whatever their idea is when they write”.

Such writers, me included, follow the sense — we use the plural or singular form according to whether it’s one or many things that we’re writing about. This grammatical construction, which is based on sense rather than form, has the grand name of notional agreement or notional concord, and is very common (so common that we often don’t notice we’re doing it).

So none of you are right when you accuse me of being ungrammatical.
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I was just telling my roommate, Coal Vines is so good that you'll **** someone else's pants. Like, some black dude is going to be walking down the street, minding his own business. When all of a sudden, there you are, shitting in his pants. And he's like WTF!
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:36 AM   #68
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

Arch, "none of them are/were" is also grammatically correct.

None is not exclusively singular. If it were, it could not take a reciprocal anaphor.

"None of them care for one another" is grammatically correct.
"I care for one another" is not, because you can't use the reciprocal anaphor "one another" with a singular referent.

EDIT: Akuma beat me with even better evidence. Sorry Arch!
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:45 AM   #69
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

Interesting...interesting. See, that's the kind of example I was looking for to anchor the plurality argument, Kooks It makes perfect sense in that context.

My professors, it would appear, were not totally correct in their teachings
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:52 AM   #70
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archidictus View Post
None has very few exceptions where verb plurality is accepted as correct.
Incorrect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archidictus View Post
"None of them" and "Not one of them" are the same sentence from the point of definitions. That being the case, you would follow either with a singular verb form, as "one" bespeaks singularity of subject.
Incorrect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archidictus View Post
Stop posting if you have no idea what you're talking about.

There's no wiggle room here. You wouldn't say "No one were there," so you must afford the word "none" the same treatment.
Oh Arch...

There's plenty of wiggle room here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Archidictus View Post
Find me a complete sentence using the word "none" that functions properly with a plural verb form. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I can't think of one off the top of my head.
None of your posts in this thread were entirely correct.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:06 PM   #71
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

Ah, the demons of nonspecific and bastardized language! How I loathe thee.

The evolution toward dialect is inevitable though, and I suppose flexibility in the name of a few rogue, nonspecific words here and there isn't much to ask
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:25 PM   #72
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

Quote:
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"None of them care for one another" is grammatically correct.
That actually sounds really bad. I would never use those words, or say/type that sentence.

That's just a horrible example, IMO.

the essence of that comment is that those people do not care for each other, or don't care for each other's company.

every member of the group has not a care for any other member of the same group.

"None of them care for one another" is really a kind of worthless, back-arching statement.

"They do not care about each other" would be best. "They" qualifies the entire group, and all of them have the same feeling, that they do not care about each other, or care for each other's company.

A professional writer will think about these kinds of things when writing their work. What is the best way, the most straight-forward, and clear way of saying this?

"They do not care for each other" or "They do not care for one another" is a more appropriate way of trying to express this really awkward, and ultimately incorrect statement: "None of them care for one another."

ugh. That sentence just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
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I was just telling my roommate, Coal Vines is so good that you'll **** someone else's pants. Like, some black dude is going to be walking down the street, minding his own business. When all of a sudden, there you are, shitting in his pants. And he's like WTF!
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:35 PM   #73
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

While I agree completely with Akuma, and I had that very conversation with myself when I read Kooks' example, I cannot deny that it is grammatically correct; forced, awkward and obscure as it may be.

Language is malleable because people speak imprecisely and are too lazy to aspire to precision in their communication. It's easy enough to get the point across by grunting and waving one's arms, after all, so the vagaries of whether or not "none" counts as a plural in a sentence is filed under the "don'tgiveafcuk" category.

And I'm sorry, but I refuse to allow in my personal mind the idea that none can be BOTH a contracted form of not one and not any. That just doesn't make sense. They're two different phrases that, as per the above information, were rolled into the same word only because a king and the uneducated were misusing "nan"

Go figure. Stategery at its best.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:36 PM   #74
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

LOL. How do you really feel about that sentence?

It was used to prove the ability of none to be plural. Once you can accept it's validity as a plural referent, you'll see that "None of them are [here, hungry, etc]" is an acceptable sentence.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:39 PM   #75
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Default Re: Grammar Nazis, "None of them was" or "None of them were"?

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Originally Posted by Kookz View Post
LOL. How do you really feel about that sentence?

It was used to prove the ability of none to be plural. Once you can accept it's validity as a plural referent, you'll see that "None of them are [here, hungry, etc]" is an acceptable sentence.
Oh, it's absolutely acceptable in the context you provided. From that one ruling, it becomes acceptable to use the word none - meaning less than any - as a plural in any sentence someone chooses, even though many of the results would be grammatically incorrect.

By the same metric, the "word" irregardless is in the dictionary.

Catering to the lowest common denominator is so much easier than forcing them to be thoughtful and more educated, don't you think
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