He has great neatness of person


Senior Member
Hello all,

He has great neatness of person.
source: by Bao Bin ( a Chinese scholar of English grammar )

His book says "person" here means "a generic notion". And thus a zero article is needed.
A similar example,
No single variety of dog embodies all the features present in all varieties of dog.

I was wondering if the usage is common or not.
More examples are appreciated.

Many many thanks.
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    “Neatness of person” is an archaic concept, so that’s rather an outdated expression. But yes, person is meant generically. Similar constructions: neatness of dress, elegance of manner, sharpness of mind, etc.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    That may be so, but none of the examples sound idiomatic to me.

    He was a very neat and tidy person.
    His personal habits were very neat and tidy.


    Senior Member
    Thank you both.
    To me, this kind of English is what I should avoid, but to discern it is not easy. :)