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Most of the time we can happily ignore those little warnings on our computer screens warning us of grammar errors. All that matters is that our meaning is clear, free of all ambiguity.

But sometimes we are pulled up short. In the sentence Neither of them notice that their teenage son is facing terrors of his own or that their daughter is leading a secret life should it be notices rather than notice? Some grammar purists argue that neither should always be followed by a singular verb, but in spoken language a plural verb comes more easily …

Dithering over grammar questions is like trying one perfume after another: you lose your sense of what smells best/sounds right. Can some ‘rules’ be discarded altogether?