ook, I know you think you’re smart and all that. But let’s me ask you a question: is it possible that you defile the English language by making the same mistake…over and over…virtually every single day of your life?
Let’s explore together.
“One” is singular, noun or adjective. Therefore, as you well know, it requires a verb that is also singular: “one of us is writing this.” Obvious.
When it’s negated, it’s still singular: “not one person knows what will happen tomorrow.”
But…BUT!…here’s the shocker—when “not one” is contracted into “none”—IT’S STILL SINGULAR! Really! You could look it up. “One”, “not one”, “none”—they all do the same thing:
- “None of the actors was very good.”
- “None of all those politicians believes that story.”
- “I have hundreds of friends, and none of them understands what I’m talking about right now.”
Sounds kind of funny, doesn’t it?
Well, do you want to be like everybody else—or do you want to be right?
Three Dog Night claimed that “one is the loneliest number”. In music, maybe. But grammatically, when it transforms into “none”, it just won’t be left alone. All the pests…the hangers-on. For the love of conjugation, I beg of you, do your part.
In every form, let “one” live the solitary existence for which it was put into this lexicon.