[PATCH 3 of 3] help: describe new cross-branch behavior in update help text, plus cleanups

Benjamin Pollack benjamin at bitquabit.com
Wed Nov 4 21:31:18 CST 2009

On Wed, 2009-11-04 at 17:46 -0800, timeless wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 9:50 PM, Stuart W Marks <smarks at smarks.org> wrote:
> > +    1. If neither -c/--check nor -C/--clean is specified, uncommitted
> I think, but want confirmation that the form is "neither a nor b are".
> http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20010821

I never get into these discussions, but since I just corrected this
somewhere else: in American English, "neither/nor" takes a singular verb
if both elements are singular.  If either element is plural, then the
verb becomes plural.  Thus, "Neither he nor she eats rubber bands," but
"neither the children nor Bob eat petunias."  In this case, because
"-c/--check" and "-C/--clean" are both singular, the verb also should be
singular, and the original phrasing is correct.

Note that I have no idea what the rule is for UK English.  As the two
dialects tend to enjoy taking opposite sides on singular vs. plural verb
usage, I wouldn't be in the least surprised to find that the Queen's
English follows a different rule.


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