Word Confusion: None versus Nun

Posted February 27, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

This Word Confusion pair is an heterograph that confounds writers who aren’t paying attention. We can’t have nun of this. Even the nones would be…I mean, the nuns from parochial school would be most upset.

Nosiree, the nuns would have none of this misspelling or the context confusions allowed.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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None Nun
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: none

 Empty bottle of Polish rowan-berry vodka made by Jan Muszynski factory 1939

“Rowan-Berry Vodka from Jan Muszynsk” is Szczebrzeszynski’s own work and is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

There’s none left…

A close-up of nuns sitting

“Recollect Contemplative Nuns” is Asolrac1’s own work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of Grammar:
Adjective 1; Adverb 1; Noun 2
Plural for noun: nones;
Pronoun 1
Plural for noun: nuns
[Archaic; usually used only before a vowel or h] Not any

  • No

none the (with comparative)

By no amount

  • Not at all
  • In no way
  • To no extent

A service forming part of the Divine Office of the Western Christian Church, traditionally said (or chanted) at the ninth hour of the day (3 p.m.)

Plural Noun:
In the ancient Roman calendar, the ninth day before the ides by inclusive reckoning

Not any

  • No person
  • No one
  • Not one

No part

  • Nothing

[Used with a plural verb] No or not any persons or things

A member of a religious community of women, especially a cloistered one, living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience

  • Any of a number of birds whose plumage resembles a nun’s habit
  • A pigeon of a breed with a crest on its neck
Thou shalt have none other gods but me.

It is made none the easier by the differences in approach.

You look none the worse for wear.

They’ll be none the wiser for being told, so leave it alone.

That was none too soon.

The supply is none too great.

We’re expected at nones.

Plural Noun:
the 7th day of March, May, July, and October

the 5th of other months

None of you want to work.

Don’t use any more water, or there’ll be none left for me.

None could match her looks.

None of the pie is left.

That is none of your business.

None of the members is going.

I’ll have none of your backtalk!

I left three pies on the table and now there are none.

None were left when I came.

The Asian mannikin is said to look like a nun.

Nuns were strict when Mary attended parochial school.

The rules about wearing the habit have been relaxed for nuns.

Margaret Frazer’s Dame Frevisse series is about a detecting nun in the mid-1400s.

This feisty Irish nun-cum-lawyer-cum-princess from the 600s, Sister Fidelma, by Peter Tremayne, is a hot one who stands up for her rights.

Adjective: nunlike, nunnish
History of the Word:
1 Old English nān, from ne meaning not + ān meaning one is of Germanic origin.

2 Mid-19th century from French, which is from the Latin nona, a feminine singular of nonus meaning ninth.

Old English nonne, from the ecclesiastical Latin nonna, the feminine of nonnus meaning monk is reinforced by the Old French nonne.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

Ten Little Indians 1945 by antoniogemma.net (io) is under the CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL licenses and Monastery Nuns at Montelupich Prison in Cracow are from the Bundesarchiv, Image 121-0320, under the CC BY-SA 3.0 de license; both are via Wikimedia Commons.