"none is" vs "none are"(Usage Disputes)
With mass nouns, you have to use the singular. ("None of the wheat is...") With count nouns, you can use either the singular or the plural. ("None of the books is..." or "None of the books are...") Usually, the plural sounds more natural, unless you're trying to emphasize the idea of "not one", or if the words that follow work better in the singular. The fullest (prescriptive) treatment is in Eric Partridge's book _Usage and Abusage_ (Penguin, 1970, 0-14-051024-9). In the original edition Partridge had prescribed the singular in certain cases, but a rather long-winded letter from a correspondent persuaded him to retract.
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