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None is/none are

Traditionalists have long insisted that none must take a singular verb form. Their argument is based on the obvious fact that zero cannot be plural. This argument has always seemed foolish to me. Zero can be neither singular nor plural. Whether none is or none are is correct depends on the sense intended. In "None of us is going to the meeting," none means "not one." In "None of us are going to the meeting, none means "not any." This distinction is subtle and may not always be worth making. In most instances, the one that sounds right is correct.


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