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A grammar diva comes to my rescue Buy Amoxicillin Without Prescription, I try to have the grammar thing down, but there’s always more to learn. Cheap Amoxicillin, I love it when somebody really smart corrects me. Most recently, Amoxicillin over the counter, Online buying Amoxicillin, the “somebody really smart” was Patricia O’Conner, the author of several books, Amoxicillin pictures, No prescription Amoxicillin online, including Woe Is I and my one of my all-time favorite usage books, Origins of the Specious, ordering Amoxicillin online. Amoxicillin online cod, Pat read the galleys of Vex, Hex, where can i buy cheapest Amoxicillin online, Kjøpe Amoxicillin på nett, köpa Amoxicillin online, Smash, Smooch and found a small error that would have turned my face carnelian had it made through page proofs and into print, low dose Amoxicillin. Buy cheap Amoxicillin no rx, I was all set to call out this “error” in The New Yorker, which a friend brought to my attention, effects of Amoxicillin. It appeared in the Comment section during the “Arab Spring” of 2011:

"The most striking and unexpected aspect of the protest is that none of these entities have been at the forefront."

What do you think about that sentence, Buy Amoxicillin Without Prescription. Amoxicillin pics, Is it fine. Is there something unnerving about the subject-verb agreement, Amoxicillin dose. Discount Amoxicillin, Here’s another suspect sentence, this one sent to me by a reader of the “Draft” series on Opionionator, Amoxicillin dosage, Amoxicillin street price, in The New York Times. The sentence was written by someone who ought to know what’s right: Ben Yagoda, fast shipping Amoxicillin, Is Amoxicillin safe, a grammar guru and the author of When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It, Amoxicillin treatment. (Ben and I have both contributed to the “Draft” series; this excerpt is from his “The Most Comma Mistakes” post.)

Buy Amoxicillin Without Prescription, "If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a thousand times. Is Amoxicillin addictive, I’m referring to a student’s writing a sentence like:

"I went to see the movie, “Midnight in Paris” with my friend, Amoxicillin results, Where can i find Amoxicillin online, Jessie.

"Comma after “movie,” comma after “friend” and, Amoxicillin used for, Where can i cheapest Amoxicillin online, sometimes, comma after “Paris” as well, Amoxicillin mg. Amoxicillin from canada, None are correct—unless “Midnight in Paris” is the only movie in the world and Jessie is the writer’s only friend."


The reader distrusted Yagoda’s “None are correct,” explaining in an email, Amoxicillin for sale, Amoxicillin photos, “I had a grammar drill sergeant in high school who taught me that none is always singular, and I have not, Amoxicillin overnight, Where to buy Amoxicillin, until now, had occasion to question it, Amoxicillin trusted pharmacy reviews. Amoxicillin canada, mexico, india, I would use the singular ‘none is’ to mean ‘not one is correct.’ What do you say?”

This reader, who happens to be a professor in Southern California, order Amoxicillin no prescription, Amoxicillin forum, added that she checked some reliable sources to see whether none a singular indefinite pronoun. “OWL at Purdue and Hacker both ignore the word, Amoxicillin alternatives, Amoxicillin use, ” she writes, sounding very much the expert, Amoxicillin dangers. “I have two freshman comp texts with handbooks, both of which say it is singular, Buy Amoxicillin Without Prescription. Online buying Amoxicillin hcl, My colleague’s 1965 Warriner’s says it depends on the sentence (ex: None of the students were present.)”

I ask you, blog reader, cheap Amoxicillin no rx, What do you say. Is none always singular (as in “not one”), always plural (as in "not any"), or a little of both.

I was all set to call both sentences wrong, and to repeat what I'd learned in high school, that none is singular and requires a singular verb. That was when Pat stepped in to gently correct me. Buy Amoxicillin Without Prescription, She, of course, had dealt with the issue in Woe Is I, where she says that you need a singular verb if you mean “none of it,” and a plural verb if you mean “none of them.” In Origins of the Specious, she goes further, recounting the moment she sat down “ with a pot of tea and Volume X (moul to ovum) of the Oxford English Dictionary to explore the etymological roots of the irksome pronoun:

“It seems that ‘none’ has been both singular and plural since Anglo-Saxon days. Alfred the Great used it as a plural back in the ninth century, when he translated a work by the Roman philosopher Boethius.

“Although the OED lists numerous examples of both singular and plural nones since Alfred’s day, it says plurals have been more common, especially in modern times. How’s that for an eye-opener. As they say, ‘None are so blind as those who will not see.’ It’s true that ‘none’ is a descendant of the Old English nan, which indeed is a combination of ne (‘not’) plus an (‘one’). But ‘any’ is also descended from the Old English an, and historically ‘none’ has always been closer in meaning to ‘not any.’

“As we know, ‘any’ can be either singular (any of one thing, like vodka) or plural (any of many things, like martinis), Buy Amoxicillin Without Prescription. Likewise, ‘none’ is sometimes singular (‘none of the vodka is chilled’) and sometimes plural (‘none of the martinis are left’)…."

She adds that by the late 1800s, the belief that none meant not one had been “elevated to the status of a ‘rule,’ flying in the face of nearly a thousand years of English usage.” Why. Well, some people prefer black-and-white “rules” over shades-of-gray linguistic reality.

Here’s what usage guru Bryan A. Garner says in Garner’s Modern American Usage, 3rd ed., page 569: “none = (1) not one; or (2) not any. Hence it may correctly take either a singular or a plural verb.” Garner mentions “the unfortunate fact that some stylists and publications insist that none is always singular, even in the most awkward constructions.”

This is probably way more than you need to know about the subject, but just so that you can feel really confident the next time someone challenges you, tell him that this information about none appears not just in O'Conner's books or in Garner's but in all three editions of Fowler, as well as Miss Thistlebottom’s Hobgoblins, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, the Oxford English Grammar, the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, all standard dictionaries (see the usage note in American Heritage 5th. ed.), and just about everywhere else.

Pat is second to none when it comes to this stuff.


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11 Responses to Buy Amoxicillin Without Prescription

  1. Christina October 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    And wouldn’t it also be more correct to say:

    “I’m referring to a student having written a sentence like…”

    It just looked wrong with the “student’s writing.”

  2. Constance Hale October 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Hi Christina.

    I don’t think one is more correct than the other. Isn’t it more a question of tone? Constructions with “having written” can seem formal to some ears. I have to check my books on that–I think it’s an absolute phrase, but not even I am not sure.

    • Mackenzie Kelly November 16, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      It’s odd that you’re not even.

  3. CJW October 22, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    Apropos “Well, some people prefer black-and-white ‘rules’ over shades-of-gray linguistic reality.” and
    “It seems that ‘none’ has been both singular and plural since Anglo-Saxon days.”

    Good discussion. I wonder if the “linguistic reality” argument can also be applied to many other nouns, such as “company” or “government.”

    I have corrected British friends who are apt to say, “the government ARE enacting new regulations…,” or, “the company I work for ARE trading in Asia,” by insisting that “company” and “government” are singular nouns, requiring the appropriate verb form. (That is also the way it works in German, and other languages, by the way.) To my friends, it was rather a matter of intuition and “liguistic reality.”

    Who is right?

    • Connie Hale October 22, 2012 at 6:05 am #

      Ah, CJW, you are both right. Among the “curiouser and curiouser”* things about English is the handful of things Brits and Americans do differently. One is the placement of commas and periods around quotation marks. Another is the spelling of words like color/colour. Yet another is the treatment of these collective nouns like “team,” “government,” “band,” and “company.” To Americans they are singular and require singular verbs and pronouns; to Brits they are plural. Vive la difference!

      *quoting Alice in Wonderland

      • David October 30, 2012 at 10:57 am #

        Regarding British usage, one that always strikes me as curious is the dropping of the definite article before “future” and “hospital,” as in, “If I am not more careful, in future I may end up in hospital.” Sounds so unnatural to my American ears.

  4. Connie Hale October 30, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    That is indeed curious. Sounds positively Slavic! Even in French the article is used. I’d be fascinated to hear from a linguist about why and when the British dropped those articles.

    • David October 30, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      OK. Had to look it up:

      Apparently, Brits use both, and the meaning varies. “In future” means “from this point forward,” whereas “in the future” means “at some point in the future.”

      And “in hospital” is only used when one is under treatment and would not be used for nurses or visitors. Analogous to “in school.”

      Who knew?

      • David October 30, 2012 at 11:41 am #

        Which means my sample usage of “in future” was incorrect!

  5. Mackenzie Kelly November 16, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    I was in school today. Sounds right to me, as does church. Then there’s indoors and inside.
    I was in university today. Sounds wrong to me, as would hospital and office.

    • Mackenzie Kelly November 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

      In university is a pet peeve of mine.

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