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Deep down, we are probably all slightly enamoured with Eric's charmingly Olde Worlde view of English . . . .

It is my hope that some at least are enamored of it.
I have no idea what a 'superstition' is in a grammatical context. Using the term is ridiculous.

It's pretty much what it is in any context: a belief or attitude based on ignorance that is inconsistent with what is generally considered true and rational. (That's adapted, by immaterial elisions, from a dictionary definition.) It is very much on point in the context.
The fact that many uneducated speakers (and even some educated speakers) use it as plural has nothing whatsoever to do with anything. It remains 'incorrect'.

Plural uses of "none" are and have been common at all levels of speech since at least the days of Alfred the Cake. It is not a matter of "even some" but of "almost all". And how are "correct" and "incorrect" established? By the common uses of educated speakers, that's how.

Because the word still carries a sense on "one-ness" owing to its spelling, a careful user will employ it as a singular form wherever the sense will allow; there is no doubt that many people are sloppy about that and use a plural where a singular would fit well. But there remain many uses as in the one quoted upthread in which a plural construal is unavoidable, and those are, by definition, valid, sound uses.
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My point was that because of some of the things he (Jespersen) did write, and as with anyone ... the passage I quoted is one piece of evidence that his, as with anyone's, opinions are not beyond critical analysis.

True, no one can be accounted ever and always perfectly correct. But his work was almost purely description, and it is very widely respected for its scholarship, and that's what the man said on that subject. I am not sure his saying falls into the realm of "opinion" unless we want to refer to Einstein's Opinions on Relativity: Jespersen's pronouncement was the factual residuum of extensive gathering of data from the field.
In short, I think you could have written the paragraph without the rather loaded "beloved of modern descriptivists" and still kept the non-emotional part of it intact.

But I think it is a fair characterization. That is not to class Jespersen, or many of the other diligent workers in his field, as himself a "descriptivist". There is an uncrossable chasm between the disinterested gathering and organizing of facts about who uses language how, where, and when and the advocacy involved in asserting that these or those data define "sound" or "right" uses (or the lack of them).
Indeed. You might do well to pick your own nits before offering the service to others.

plonk
Adrian
Eric has answered that and more temperedly than I would have. I'd have said something like: "That's a ridiculous ... just that a superstition. Etc. etc. Bob Lieblich Temporarily unable to come up with a clever sig comment

Possibly, Eric was attempting to answer my questions so I might learn something, Possibly, he chose not to be an ***. Possibly, a person (attempting to learn to use the language better) might stumble into a nest of insufferable jerks who were here merely to demonstrate their perfection and their intolerance for those who aren't that way. I really don't know... however, I am always thankful for those who answer my questions more temperedly than you would have.

At least I got all of my questions answered. I'm a better man for having "met" you. It IS an interesting group, though. Thanks to all.

Very best regards,
Jack
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Eric has answered that and more temperedly than I ... singular verb is just that a superstition. Etc. etc.

Possibly, Eric was attempting to answer my questions so I might learn something, Possibly, he chose not to be an ... really don't know... however, I am always thankful for those who answer my questions more temperedly than you would have.

Reflect on the statement that prompted my remark. Here it is again:
"None" means "not one". How does that work with "are"?

The more staunchly wrong someone appears, the stronger the reaction that results. As Eric pointed out, "none" has been used with plural verbs since the days of Old English. As I pointed out, the notion that it means only "no one," or that it can only be singular, is pure superstition. If you're going to be as wrong as you were, you ought to expect strong language in response. It frequently takes industrial-strength language to shake people loose from their pet errors. Note that I didn't call you ridiculous, only the statement you made.
If you can get beyond taking something personally that wasn't so intended, you may be able to realize that I was right. I've made some ridiculous statements myself over the years, and elicited some strong language in response, which upon reflection I have taken as deserved. Contrariwise, when I get a strong response to something I think is right, I reserve the right of reply. It seems to have served me fairly well over my nine-plus years in the usage groups.
At least I got all of my questions answered. I'm a better man for having "met" you. It IS an interesting group, though. Thanks to all.

I can't tell whether this means you'll be taking your thin skin elsewhere. (Yes, that one was personal. I'm still well short of "***.") There's lots more to learn here than (1) "none" can take a plural verb and (2) some people use strong language for emphasis. Your choice.

Bob Lieblich
Not quite as vicious as he may appear
I have no idea what a 'superstition' is in a grammatical context. Using the term is ridiculous.

It's pretty much what it is in any context: a belief or attitude based on ignorance that is inconsistent with what is generally considered true and rational. (That's adapted, by immaterial elisions, from a dictionary definition.) It is very much on point in the context.

My point was that there are no "scientific truths" in Grammar.
The fact that many uneducated speakers (and even some educated speakers) use it as plural has nothing whatsoever to do with anything. It remains 'incorrect'.

Plural uses of "none" are and have been common at all levels of speech since at least the days of Alfred the Cake.

So *** what? I read "different to" in a book the other day!

"Extinct Birds" by Errol Fuller
http://www.amazon.com/Extinct-Birds-Comstock-Errol-Fuller/dp/080143954X/sr=8-1/qid=1161539030/ref=pd bbs sr 1/002-9264479-3132814?ie=UTF8

Does that mean that "different to" is the best usage? NO! Even educated writers make mistakes or follow poor usage.
It is not a matter of "even some" but of "almost all". And how are "correct" and "incorrect" established? By the common uses of educated speakers, that's how.

No. By the BEST usage.
It's pretty much what it is in any context: ... definition.) It is very much on point in the context.

My point was that there are no "scientific truths" in Grammar.

There is also no capital letter in "grammar." (Is your German affecting you?)
As for whether there are "scientific truths" in grammar, it all depends on what you mean by "scientific truth." If you theorize that in Standard English grammar the grammatical present tense form of the verb "to be" used with the pronoun "you," both singular and plural, is "are," I think you can demonstrate that to be true by testing it against a large eenough corpus of the English language. Whether this makes it a "scientific truth" depends, as I said, on what you mean by the term.
Plural uses of "none" are and have been common at all levels of speech since at least the days of Alfred the Cake.

So *** what? I read "different to" in a book the other day! Does that mean that "different to" is the best usage?

Not all by itself. But, to repeat, it's commonplace in the UK and regarded as no worse than "different from." Let's call it "tied for best."
NO!

Sorry, wrong again.
Even educated writers make mistakes or follow poor usage.

True. I'm sure that if you look long enough you can find a good example of this. But neither "none are" nor "different to" qualifies.
It is not a matter of "even some" but of ... established? By the common uses of educated speakers, that's how.

No. By the BEST usage.

O, if only that were true.
But it isn't.

Bob Lieblich
On the side of reason and sanity
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Plural uses of "none" are and have been common at all levels of speech since at least the days of Alfred the Cake.

So *** what? I read "different to" in a book the other day!

And thereby extended your learning to encompass the fact that British writers and speakers commonly use that form and consider it unexceptionable.
Does that mean that "different to" is the best usage? NO! Even educated writers make mistakes or follow poor usage.

Just so. But that is not an example. For myself, I don't like it, but the function of language is not to be likeable but to allow us to place thoughts in the minds of others with precision and elegance. The drawback to "different to" (and "different than") is not that it is imprecise or inelegant, but that it is one of three forms (with "different from") all competing for the same function. We English speakers ought to pick one and settle on it, but over centuries have not done so.
The objection to "different than" is that "than" is normally a word of comparison of degree : it is hotter than (it was) yesterday." The recommendation for "different from" is that the mandatory preposition with "differs" is "from", and the parallelism is strong. But the choice of preposition in English forms is, to put it mildly, quirky, almost wholly arbitrary idiom. So long as a substantial block of knowledgeable, careful writers persists in using "different to", however much I might wish they would stop doing so, it remains a sound usage.
And how are "correct" and "incorrect" established? By the common uses of educated speakers, that's how.

No. By the BEST usage.

When you receive the patent on your new Bestometer, let us know.
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