According to Garner's fourth edition

Though serving as a plural when the need arises, series is ordinarily a singular noun. But it is also a noun of multitude, so that phrases such as a series of things take a plural verb. However, the collocation there {has been - is} a series has predominated in print sources.

Common nouns of multitude: lot, majority, mass, minority, multitude, percentage, proportion, variety.

However, the entry of series of the American Heritage Dictionary reads

When it has the singular sense of "one set," it takes a singular verb, even when series is followed by of and a plural noun: A series of lectures is scheduled.

Are these dissimilar usages stylic advice?

Secondly, the inversion after there also chooses singular elsewhere; why is it so?

When the verb precedes the noun percentage, a singular verb is required. That is, a higher percentage of them are, but there is a higher percentage of them.

  • 1
    I thought that followed by of was a typo in the transcription of the original text. On looking at it, I see that the original text puts it in italics, having it make sense rather than appear ungrammatical. Please accurately transcribe the original text, including its presentation (italics in this case), so as to preserve the original meaning. – Jason Bassford Jul 31 '20 at 9:54
  • 1
    Also, please quote the entire paragraph of that text so as to put it in the proper context. By leaving out the entire paragraph, you are severely distorting what that dictionary is trying to communicate. (Since you don't provide a link to the first text, I'm not sure what you might have left out. But this seems to be a pattern with your posts, and I wouldn't be surprised if something important is missing.) – Jason Bassford Jul 31 '20 at 9:56
  • Why do you think that "series" is similar to "lot"? – BillJ Aug 1 '20 at 13:02

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