[Ads-l] Neither, nor, both

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Mar 27 10:05:32 EDT 2017


> On Mar 27, 2017, at 9:53 AM, Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
> 
> I suppose Venn diagrams prove that Larry is correct.  But isn't it quite easily understood?  And would be "correct" if it were:
> 
> "Contrary to what Gerry Adams said, he was neither only a terrorist nor only a freedom fighter - he was both"?
> Joel

That one would be fine.  But less demagogically correct.

LH


>      From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
> Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2017 8:10 PM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Neither, nor, both
> 
>> 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. 
> 
> LH
> 
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> 
> 
> 
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