Are “none of them” and “not any of them” equivalent?

Yes, “none of them” and “not any of them” are equivalent in terms of meaning. GETAG, however, suggests using the phrase “none of them” in your writing. “None of them” is more concise and improves clarity. In today’s busy world, there is an advantage to being able to express yourself using as few words as possible.

Examples in published writing

Here are two examples of modern usage of “none of them” in writing:

Obama Faces Barrier in His Own Party on Syria

by Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times
September 4, 2013

“When he visited a grocery store on Wednesday, he said, almost a dozen people told him they thought intervening in Syria was a bad idea. None of them expressed support.”

The CIA just won’t hold itself accountable

by James Downie, Washington Post
January 15, 2015

“But now we learn that the agency’s internal panel has decided none of them should face discipline.”

Replacing the phrase “none of them” with the equivalent phrase “not any of them” would only make these sentences awkward. Therefore, avoid “not any of them” and use “none of them” whenever possible.

Whether or not any of them

The phrase “whether or not any of them” is commonly used in English. The expression is the combination of the two phrases, “whether or not” and “any of them“. The following example is from the New York Times.

A Saint, and an Inquiry Into the Sins of His Brothers

by Ian Austen, NY Times
October 29, 2010

By some accounts, 125,000 medical miracles have been attributed to Brother André. But Donald L. Boisvert, a professor of religion at Concordia University in Montreal, said that whether or not any of them actually occurred was almost beside the point.


Word Count: 285

Is Winter Olympics capitalized in a sentence?

How would you fix the following English-language sentence?

“I’m looking forward to purchasing tickets for the 2018 winter Olympics.”

  1. Place a comma after “tickets” to improve clarity.
  2. Capitalize the ‘W’ in winter.
  3. Lowercase the ‘O’ in Olympics.
  4. The sentence is grammatically correct.

Rules for Capitalizing Proper Nouns


Most of the time, the names of the seasons are not capitalized. Winter Olympics is, however, a proper noun. Proper nouns are the names of a specific person, place, or thing and are capitalized.

The correct answer is number two. Capitalize the ‘W’ in Winter Olympics.

  1. Place a comma after “tickets” to improve clarity.
  2. Capitalize the ‘W’ in winter.
  3. Lowercase the ‘O’ in Olympics.
  4. The sentence is grammatically correct.

Have a question?

Do you have a question about English grammar? Submit a question!

Wordiness, noun

Definition of Wordiness

“Wordiness is the habit of using more words than necessary to express one’s meaning. It makes writing appear inflated, pompous, and confusing. When one uses too many wordy constructions, it becomes difficult for readers to sift through all the words and understand the author’s meaning. In academic writing, then, avoiding wordiness is essential to ensure that your meaning is correctly conveyed.”
Native Eigo-juku Vol. 1
By Center for Research Writing Resources

Wordiness in other parts of speech

  • adverb: wordily
  • adjective: wordy, wordier (comparative), wordiest (superlative)

Wordiness synonyms

Best synonym

verbosity

Other synonyms

catalogic, circumlocution, diffuseness, diffusion, fecundity, garrulity, logorrhea, long-windedness, loquaciousness, loquacity, macrology, officialese, periphrasis, pleonasm, prolixity, redundancy, tautology, verbality, verbiage, verbigeration, verbomania, verboseness, verbosity, windiness, wordage

Wordiness antonyms

conciseness, directness, straightforwardness, terseness

The word “wordiness” used in writing

Dictionary of Concise Writing

Wordiness is arguably the biggest obstacle to clear writing and speaking. But it is also more than that.

  • Wordiness is an obstacle to success. Almost all professional people know that success in business partly depends on good communications skills, on writing and speaking clearly and persuasively. Business people who cannot express themselves well are often at a disadvantage in the corporate world.
  • Wordiness is an obstacle to companionship. Few of us enjoy being with someone who speaks incessantly or incoherently. Wordiness in others may make us impatient; it may annoy us, and we may think it rude. Worse than that, when we have difficulty understanding someone, sooner or later we may not care what it is that he tries to convey. We lose interest in what a person says and, ultimately, in who a person is.
  • Wordiness is an obstacle to self-knowledge. A superfluity of words conceals more than it reveals. We need time to be silent and still, time to reflect on the past and think about the future; without it, no one is knowable.

Wordiness is an obstacle to these goals and others. Whatever your profession, whatever your personality, wordiness is a condition for which we all should seek a cure.
The Dictionary of Concise Writing: More Than 10,000 Alternatives to Wordy Phrases
By Robert Hartwell Fiske

Comics through Time

“The strip follows a two-by-two, four-panel square format, and Barry is well known for her ability to capture childhood, as well as for her wordiness and her style. While some critics criticize Barry’s draftsmanship, others praise her rendering as reflective of her interest in children.”

A Sensible Match

Had the observers been listening to Abby, her range of opinions and lack of common sense might have astounded them. In fact no one would have recognized the chatterbox that danced so lightly with Lord Chappel.
Abby had a part to play and she did it well. A few times her sense of humor almost overset her, but she needed only to find her mother’s indulgent smirk to resolutely rattle on until she felt almost as tired of her wordiness as he could ever be. Imagine fifty years of wedded bliss to my conversation.
By Teryl Cartwright

Criminal Investigation

Being concise means making every word count without leaving out important facts. Avoid wordiness; length alone does not ensure quality. Some reports can be written in half a page; others require 12 or even 20 pages. No specific length can be prescribed, but strive to include all relevant information in as few words as possible.
You can reduce wordiness in two basic ways: (1) Leave out unnecessary information and (2) use as few words as possible to record the necessary facts. For example, do not write, “Th e car was blue in color”; write “Th e car was blue.” A phrase such as “information that is of a confidential nature” should be recognized as a wordy way of saying “confidential information.”
By Christine Hess Orthmann

Wordy, adjective

Definition of Wordy

  • characterized by or given to the use of too many words
  • using an excessive number of words.

Wordy in other parts of speech

  • noun: wordiness
  • adverb: wordily
  • adjective: wordy, wordier (comparative), wordiest (superlative)

Wordy synonyms

Best synonym

verbose

Other synonyms

bombastic, chatty, circumlocutory, diffuse, discursive, flatulent, gabby, garrulous, inflated, lengthy, long-drawn-out, long-winded, loquacious, overlong, palaverous, periphrastic, pleonastic, prolix, protracted, rambling, redundant, rhetorical, sesquipedalian, talkative, tedious, turgid, voluble, windy

Wordy antonyms

brief, terse, succinct, concise, untalkative

Simple examples of the use of wordy

  • He is a wordy writer.
  • This government pamphlet is very wordy.
  • She grew exhausted listening to his wordy reply.

Examples of the word “wordy” used in writing

Good: A good student replaces wordy sentences and phrases with concise writing.
Better: A better student looks for simplicity in his writing. He reduces his writing to the least common denominator and asks his editors if they can reduce his language to an even simpler, more reader-friendly version.
Best: The best student takes all the steps mentioned previously, but goes one step further. He uses his thesaurus on any sentence that seems wordy. Before he begins writing, he also creates a list of wordy language so as he writes he can avoid using any words on his “wordy list.”

Dictionary

A very limited English dictionary

At GETAG, we like words. GETAG is a site for learning. Therefore, we sometimes add definitions to our articles as a service to our readers. Learn or be dominated.

  • Wordiness, noun 2015-02-19
    Definition of Wordiness “Wordiness is the habit of using more words than necessary to express one’s meaning. It makes writing appear inflated, pompous, and confusing. When one uses too many wordy constructions, it becomes difficult for readers to sift through all the words and understand the author’s meaning. In academic writing, ...
  • Wordy, adjective 2015-02-19
    Definition of Wordy characterized by or given to the use of too many words using an excessive number of words. Wordy in other parts of speech noun: wordiness adverb: wordily adjective: wordy, wordier (comparative), wordiest (superlative) Wordy synonyms Best synonym verbose Other synonyms bombastic, chatty, circumlocutory, diffuse, discursive, flatulent, gabby, garrulous, inflated, lengthy, long-drawn-out, long-winded, loquacious, overlong, palaverous, periphrastic, pleonastic, prolix, ...