python vs c#

Tim Roberts timr at
Sat Oct 2 23:31:05 CEST 2004

Steve Holden <steve at> wrote:
>> IIRC from back when I was in school (long time ago), both forms are correct.
>> At least in Dutch. Strictly spoken it should be "a few is enough" or "a
>> number of people has died".
>Well that's Dutch for you. In English (as opposed to American, where 
>pretty much anything goes) "A number of people *have* died" is correct, 
>because the people died, not the number.

I was going to object to this statement.  I went to my good friend "Google"
to look up some references but "a number of" is very common and thus
difficult to search for.

However, on the web site for "The American Heritage Book of English Usage,"
I was reading the page on indefinite pronouns, looking for vindication,
when I came across this sentence:

  A number of usage problems involving personal pronouns are questions
  of which case to use in a given situation.

They don't explicitly give a rule, but it's clear that whoever wrote this
sentence (presumably a stern-faced librarian) agrees with you.
- Tim Roberts, timr at
  Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.

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