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Old 02-10-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
Kittens Starburst
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Neither is, neither are

I have a character talking to two people, and he says, 'Quite frankly, neither of you is ready to hear.'

My grammar checker thinks it should be 'are ready'. It's wrong, right?
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:56 PM   #2
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You just decided to leave a word out - as you are perfectly free to do. And dialogue is priviledged content, so the speaker can say whatever he wishes in whatever manner his character would say it.

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Originally Posted by Kittens Starburst View Post
I have a character talking to two people, and he says, 'Quite frankly, neither [one] of you is ready to hear.'

My grammar checker thinks it should be 'are ready'. It's wrong, right?
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
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As Bufty says, you're just omitting the word 'one' so I would use 'is' - i.e. 'neither one... is ready'.

Darn grammar checkers, always trying to tell us humans what is and isn't right.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:53 PM   #4
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"Is" sounds wrong to my ear.

You are not ready to hear this. Neither of you are ready to hear.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:48 PM   #5
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"Is" sounds wrong to my ear.

You are not ready to hear this. Neither of you are ready to hear.
You are not ready to hear this is correct.

Neither of you are ready to hear may sound correct when the ear regards "you" as the subject when it's really the object of the preposition.

"Neither" is singular, so "is" is correct.

However, as plural antecedents referring to singular nouns become more and more popular, the mixing of all plurals and singulars tends to blur the lines between old school correct and what's accepted by publishers and readers.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:12 AM   #6
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Thank you!

Evil grammar checker.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:54 PM   #7
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but, it's dialogue, so does that particular character need to speak technically correctl?
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:27 AM   #8
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but, it's dialogue, so does that particular character need to speak technically correctl?
Usually, no, but a character who uses language like this is almost certainly going to get it right.

A different character might say, "Ain't neither of you ready to hear", but this language strikes me as to well refined for the character to get it wrong.

Dialogue must be true to character. Something this means wrong is perfect, but at other times, when the character is one who knows and uses proper grammar, only perfect is perfect.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kittens Starburst View Post
I have a character talking to two people, and he says, 'Quite frankly, neither of you is ready to hear.'

My grammar checker thinks it should be 'are ready'. It's wrong, right?
Well, "of you" is the prepositional phrase. Take at the prepositional phrase and it's "neither is/are ready to hear." Finally, neither (one) (of you) is ready to hear.

Spell check is incorrect.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:11 AM   #10
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but, it's dialogue, so does that particular character need to speak technically correctl?
So true.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:35 AM   #11
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Aw! Susan, I just have to say 'thank you'. English grammar is something I think I never learn to understand. I barely know in which order to write the ordinary words. English grammar sure makes my head spin at times.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:30 AM   #12
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Grammar checkers are wrong more often than they are right, and it was wrong this time.
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