Usage and Grammar

Q. Hello! I understand that when an indefinite pronoun like “everything” is the subject of a clause, it takes a singular verb (per CMOS 5.67). But I’m stumped by the following sentence, whose compound subject is composed of two indefinite pronouns: “Everything we say and everything we do [is/are] built on this idea.” Does it take a singular or a plural verb? The singular sounds better to my ear, but the plural seems like the logical choice.

Q. Which is correct, “in the peninsula” or “on the peninsula”? Why?

Q. AP style dictates that blonde (with an e) should be used only as a noun and I believe only for a female subject. Blond should be used as a noun for male subjects and as an adjective for both. I cannot find any reference in CMOS, but Merriam-Webster lists both spellings as variants for both nouns and adjectives. Is that Chicago’s position?

Q. Is this use of the passive voice correct? “The restaurant’s excellent dinners had been being prepared by Chef Bob for many years.”

Q. Hello CMOS. Per your style, for phrasal adjectives including units of measurement, I’ve used the singular form of the unit in, for example, “100-foot-long boat” (instead of “100-feet-long boat”). An author has rejected my edits that revise “feet” to “foot”; telling him that this is incorrect because of a style guide has not convinced him to revert them back to the singular. Why, exactly, should the singular be used? I’m accustomed to it, but I’m unable to come up with a compelling reason.

Q. When referring to a decade, do you use “was” or “were”? “The 1780s was [were?] an important period in history.”

Q. When is the word that unnecessary? Here’s an example: “She manages the team, making sure that everyone is in the right role and that everything is of the highest quality.” Is it okay to remove those thats?

Q. Hi all! I hope everyone is staying safe. I have a quick question. Should it be “What will my teacher say about my never returning to class?” or “What will my teacher say about me never returning to class?” Citations will help. I struggle with this frequently. Thank you so much! Take care.

Q. Is it okay to use “Latinx” instead of “Latino” or “Latina”?

Q. When is “lay” or “lie” used?