I weep for American Journalism......I do. I weep for American Journalism. It seems everyday, I read articles published by authors with English names (not international journalists...) making fundamental grammatical mistakes. If I read more into them, I'd probably find more glaring mistakes than those such as expressions, verb tense, and more.
Of the 50 fastest-growing metro areas, 27 were in the South and 20 were in the West. Two were in the Midwest, one — Fayetteville, Ark. — straddles the South and Midwest and none was in the Northeast.
A quick read tells me "none was" does not work and should be "none are". Why? Because the word "none" is not a contraction of "not one". "None" can be both singular and plural depending on the context (this might seem strange for English or even Western speakers, but for Asian language speakers such as myself, this isn't too hard to grasp).
Within context, "none" can refer to "not one" or "not any". If you said, "None of my friends are coming with me", you are contextually saying, "Not any of my friends are coming with me."
While technically correct to use "none" as both plural and singular, it is often more appropriate to use it as plural than singular. In this case, the article is referring to "of the 50 fastest growing metro areas". The sentence "Two were in the Midwest, one — Fayetteville, Ark. — straddles the South and Midwest and none was in the Northeast" is really an extension of the whole paragraph. The paragraph itself could have been written like so:
Of the 50 fastest-growing metro areas, 27 were in the South, 20 were in the West, 2 were in the Midwest, one — Fayetteville, Ark. — straddles the South and Midwest, and none were in the Northeast.
All of this is nit picky indeed and most people would not care. Even I would argue that language is organic and that there is no sacrament. Language grows with people, with current times, and changes generation after generation. And if usage changes fly in the face of the "old rules" then those rules need to break or bend to accommodate the change instead of the change bending to the rules.
But in this case, the "none was" tried to stick to the "old rules" and so deserves ridicule.
Here are some references: