2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 51 Articles

None takes a singular verb if what it refers to is singular and a plural verb if its referent is plural. But why is that? If none means "no one, not one," shouldn't it always be used with a singular verb? Formal agreement dictates that a singular subject pair with a singular verb and a plural subject pair with a plural verb. Yet the result doesn't always make sense. When formal agreement fails us, we reach out for notional agreement.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.
Like is a powerful word. It's a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, and conjunction. It demonstrates preferences and shows relationships. It even acts as filler when we're trying to put our thoughts in order. Not all uses of like are equally accepted, however.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.
In the crusade against flabby writing, we're often counseled to get rid of redundancies with a machete. We are to show no mercy for the likes of repeated ideas and words. But following this "rule" blindly, as with following any rule blindly, can result in text that fails to get its meaning across. There are times when redundancy is a boon to the text rather than a scourge.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

We're all familiar with those words that modify nouns. Words like big, yellow, northern, and government. They're called adjectives, and their job is to modify the nouns they're next to.

Government?  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

I was recently taken to task for writing the following in a blog post:

That's one thing with pet peeves: they're our pets. We're enamored with them.

Do you see the problem?  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.
Do you know the grammatical mnemonic "FANBOYS"? It's an acronym for the coordinating conjunctions for, and, nor, but, or, and yet. Seems pretty handy, right? Not so much: Erin Brenner argues that "FANBOYS" hides more than it reveals.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.
Last month, The AP Stylebook, the style guide for many American newspapers, finally gave up on restricting hopefully to its original meaning, "in a hopeful manner." The stylebook now also allows hopefully to be as a sentence adverb meaning "it is hoped" or "it is to be hoped that."  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 51 Articles