One or three? Nonetheless vs. none the less

You may recall one or two of your elementary teachers advising you to spell a word the way you would say it. While that didn’t work for knight, it does work for nonetheless.

Because this adverb is really a collection of three words, many writers like to spell it as such with a space between each syllable. However, we actually speak the three words as if it were one, typically cutting a tic out of our pause between words in a sentence. So, nonetheless is the correct spelling.

In addition, when punctuating, a comma always goes after nonetheless. To wit: Nonetheless, Los Angeles is taking steps to become more cultural with the addition of new museums. If nonetheless appears in the middle of a sentence, the word is set off with commas on both sides of it, as in: The mayor of New York City, nonetheless, maintains that no American city can match his for cultural attractions.