8

The following is the full sentence:

One could argue, convincingly, that this is no big deal and that I'm just a whiner.

10

As the New Oxford American English reports, no (used as adjective) means not any.

There is no excuse.
No two plants are alike.

  • So "not any two plants are alike"? – delete Sep 5 '10 at 1:01
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    @Shinto, it is awkward, but not ungrammatical, at least to me. You can’t presume that any word can be replaced by a dictionary definition and have the result always be perfectly normal-sounding. – nohat Sep 5 '10 at 3:04
  • @nohat: I don't think "not any two plants are alike" is understandable, let alone grammatical. My guess is that "no two .. alike" is a construction on its own. There is no "no three" construction or similar. – delete Sep 5 '10 at 3:26
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    @Shinto: why wouldn't there be no "no three" constructions? What about: "What is the probability that no three consecutive letters are alike"; or: "In the Bengali alphabet no three letters are alike in sound except the three sibilants" see this wiki article; or even the ominous: "no five fingers are alike" see Google. They all fit the same adjective use of "no" in the meaning of "not any". – Abel Sep 5 '10 at 12:05
  • @Abel: OK I concede that there can be "no three" constructions but why you want to force this to mean "not any" I have no idea. – delete Sep 5 '10 at 13:39

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