Usage and Grammar

Q. Dear Chicago, What is your stance on myriad versus a myriad of? Myriad thanks.

A. CMOS is silent on the issue, but Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary (our go-to resource) has this to say, s.v. myriad: “Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it.”