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  1. #1
    HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
    HaraKiriBlade is offline Member
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    Questions from editorial June0705 (1/2)

    If anyone needs more proof that most of our media are far more sympathetic to Prime Minister Paul Martin than Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, they got it again yesterday.
    a1. If my memory serves, the word 'anyone' is singluar. But the sentence later refers to it as 'they', which is plural.
    Is this one of those 'conventional' wrong grammers in English? or would there be another reason to refer to 'anyone' as 'they'?


    Before her defection, they had always regarded Stronach as a glamorous but lightweight political novelty act, and as someone with far more chutzpah than common sense, as shown by her decision to run for the Conservative leadership without having any prior political experience.
    b1. What is the sentence saying about Stronach when referring to her as 'novelty act'? What exactly is novelty act in the first place?

    next questions to the next post...

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Questions from editorial June0705 (1/2)

    anyone... they is widely used to avoid the problem of which singular pronoun to use. It's a non-gender specific usage that is very common nowadays. Some stick to 'he', others use 'he or she', etc.

    A novelty act is a performer who does something that catches our attention because it is so unusual, but probably won't last for very long. I don't know her, but I imagine that she says things no one else is saying, but she isn't taken very seriously.

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