Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/165

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Errors in English

ter of choice. But should this choice affect the verb?—"The wages of sin is death." "Death is the wages of sin." It is merely a matter of taste in forceful diction which nominative shall precede. Yet which is to govern the number of the verb? "What we seek is riches"; "Riches are what we seek"—Probably these two forms of one idea best illustrate the better usage, which appears to be that the verb is dependent upon the nominative which precedes. In explanation of the scriptural phrase, it may be stated that although the prevailing rule with the translators of the Bible appears to have been to use plural verbs when either nominative was plural (that is, in all such cases), still "Death," being here that upon which special emphasis is laid and to which attention is particularly drawn, is permitted to govern the verb.

no more: Often incorrectly used for "any more." Do not say "I don't want to see you no more"; but "I don't want to see you any more," or "again."

none: Although etymologically equivalent to not (a single) one this word is commonly used as a singular under a mistaken idea that it can not be used correctly as a plural, but many writers of standard English have used it as a plural. The Standard Dictionary authorizes the use of the word both as a singular and plural according to the meaning of the context. Where the singular or the plural equally expresses the sense, the plural is commonly used and