technically correct subject-verb agreement

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Wed Dec 29 04:18:12 UTC 2004

On Dec 28, 2004, at 10:18 PM, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      technically correct subject-verb agreement
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> J. L. King, On the Down Low (Broadway Books, 2004), p. 33: correct
> (plural) agreement with expletive "there", but it still sounds a bit
> weird to me:
>  Going to his house was what I lived for. There were liquor, music, and
> a strong desire for my body.

Same here. Because they're non-human, perhaps? Does "There were Tom,
Dick, and Harry" sound any better? It's hard to tell.


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