The other day Stuart, who lives in the UK, emailed some helpful comments to me because of "alarm bells" that went off as he read one my recent posts. I made changes based on Stuart's comments, but one of his remarks has left me perplexed. I would appreciate your opinion.
Stuart objected to this sentence of mine: "An email Rita had sent me recently included no phone number, no website, and no other contact information."
He wrote: "If Rita's E-mail did not contain any contact details, then it could not have included them. Something that is not present cannot have been included."
He went on to recommend that I write "did not include" rather than "included no."
I have searched 25 reference manuals and writing guides on my bookshelf, and I can find no rules barring "includes no." Or as Stuart would say, "I cannot find a rule barring 'includes no.' "
Did I sleep through a discussion of "includes no" in my college and graduate school writing classes? I have never encountered this issue before.
I will be grateful for your views!
Stuart, thank you for your suggestions. I appreciate your high standards and expertise.