The Comma Queen Debates Whether ‘None’ is Singular or Plural While Relaxing on a Sandy Beach

While on location at the beach, the very informative Mary Norris aka “The Comma Queen” explains the etymology of the English word “none”, whether the word should be described as plural or singular and how common usage has relaxed the word over the years.

We’re here to talk about whether it not is singular or plural. None was originally a contraction of no one. Many generations learned that none is singular but modern usage has loosened up and none is more often plural then it is singular. We use it as a singular only when it has the specific meaning of not a single solitary one. …so all you sticklers of the old school are just going to have to bear it. Grind your teeth and we will put up with your use of singular none.