Friday, May 22, 2009
Let's address the word "none." When I was in school, we were taught to think of "none" as "not one." Clearly a singular verb would have been called for. Example: "None of us is happy." I was never comfortable with that idea. Neither was a grammar expert and columnist in my town. Replace "none" by "not any." Observe: "None of the cake was eaten because none of the guests were hungry." Doesn't that look and sound good? Now grammar does not always work that way, but it surely is nice when it does! In summary, "none" is singular when referring to a singular noun, plural with a plural noun.