[Ads-l] Neither, nor, both

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Mar 26 20:10:26 EDT 2017

> On Mar 26, 2017, at 6:01 PM, Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU> wrote:
> Sighted in an online conversation, apparently from a northern Englander:
> "Contrary to what Gerry Adams said, he was neither a terrorist nor a freedom fighter - he was both."
> (The reference is to the late Martin McGuinness.)

As someone who has claimed in print (in a 1985 paper and a subsequent book) that it’s possible to say “Maggie isn’t EITHER patriotic OR quixotic—she’s both” but that it’s *not* possible to say “Maggie is neither patriotic nor quixotic—she’s both”, a claim that would, I fear, extend from feisty iron ladies to members of the IRA/Sinn Fein.  All I can say is ouch.  And, I guess, thanks for the datum. 


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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