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Dear teachers,
Please help me understand the phrase"Be as likely to + verb" in the following:

A common misconception is that none must always be treated as singular. The customary support for this view is that none necessarily means "not one" (implying singularity); in fact, "none" is just as likely to imply "not any" (implying plurality). As noted in The American Heritage Dictionary: "the word has been used as both a singular and a plural noun from Old English onward.

Thank you in advance
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Hi,
Please help me understand the phrase"Be as likely to + verb" in the following:

A common misconception is that none must always be treated as singular. The customary support for this view is that none necessarily means "not one" (implying singularity); in fact, "none" is just as likely to imply "not any" (implying plurality). As noted in The American Heritage Dictionary: "the word has been used as both a singular and a plural noun from Old English onward.

Consider a much simpler example.
eg Mary may cook fish for dinner tonight, but she is just as likely to cook chicken.

This means that there is an equal possibilty for fish and for chicken. The likelihood of her cooking fish is the same as the likelihood of her cooking chicken.

The meaning is basically the same in your more complex example.
ie There is an equal likelihood that 'none' means 'not one' and that 'none ' means 'not any'.

Best wishes, Clive
Comments  
Thank you Clive very much