or either ... one

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Mon Jan 26 22:54:51 UTC 2004

"I thanks you all, both," reminds me of a true Southernism, the "or either 
... one" construction, as in

"I have to buy some cookies or either make some, one."

Where in other parts of the country we'd say

"I either have to buy some cookies or make some, one or the other."

Have we talked about this before here? I think I published something on this 
years ago, but it remains one of the less-well-known Southernisms, I suspect.

In a message dated 1/26/04 5:26:33 PM, flanigan at OHIO.EDU writes:

> Well, I wasn't correct in thinking Lehrer was from Texas either, though
> close.  But my feeling that "you all" is South Midland (or Upper South, for
> those who prefer Carver's terms) seems supported, vs. "y'all" in the Deep
> South.  Most of Kentucky and southern Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and the
> states just west of the Mississippi (maybe we should call these West
> Midland) all seem to have some "you all" in the simple plural sense we've
> been talking about (not in the emphatic sense of Julia's second
> letter).  I've adopted it myself and am quite comfortable with it.  But
> Lehrer's "I thank you all, both" seemed strange to me--explainable to me
> only by the slight pause before "both," as if to make a
> self-correction.  He even smiled impishly afterwards.

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