[Ads-l] neither/either avoidance

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 11 14:52:28 EST 2017


The word “either” does not particularly bother me, though it can be stressed in a way to make it sound pretentious. For “neither one,” see my follow-up e-mail. BB

> On 11 Nov 2017, at 11:47, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
>> The word “neither” sometimes sounds affected or literary in a way
> inappropriate for normal     > conversation.
> 
> How does "(n)either _one_" sound?
> 
> On Sat, Nov 11, 2017 at 12:05 PM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com <mailto:mail.barretts at gmail.com>>
> wrote:
> 
>> I have a definite dispreference for “neither” though I don’t think I would
>> go that far in avoiding it. The word “neither” sometimes sounds affected or
>> literary in a way inappropriate for normal conversation. Certain
>> constructions like “neither of them” don’t sound too bad but often can be
>> avoided by using “either” with a negative verb.
>> 
>> Benjamin Barrett
>> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>> 
>>> On 11 Nov 2017, at 05:30, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Ivan Watson, CNN:
>>> 
>>> Both sides were not able to come to [sic] a time for a bilateral meeting.
>>> 
>>> Normal:
>>> 
>>> Neither side was able to come up with a time for a bilateral meeting.
>>> 
>>> JL
>>> 
>>> On Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 8:31 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com
>> <mailto:wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com <mailto:wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>>>
>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Call me crazy, but I've noticed that CNN employees don't want to use
>> these
>>>> words.
>>>> 
>>>> Ex.: a short time ago a correspondent in South Korea spoke of Northern
>>>> threats to test missiles near Guam and detonate an H-bomb over the
>> Pacific.
>>>> He said,
>>>> 
>>>> "Both of those things have not happened yet."
>>>> 
>>>> Somewhat similarly, instead of saying, "That hasn't happened either,"
>> the
>>>> almost universal preference is, "That hasn't happened as well."
>>>> 
>>>> While perfectly understandable, these constructions sound as weird to me
>>>> as positive "anymore" once did.
>>>> 
>>>> JL
>> 
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org <http://www.americandialect.org/>
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org <http://www.americandialect.org/>

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


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