[Ads-l] neither/either avoidance

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Nov 11 18:55:06 EST 2017


> On Nov 11, 2017, at 2:52 PM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> The word “either” does not particularly bother me, though it can be stressed in a way to make it sound pretentious.

Stressed, or vocalized?  For some, the EYE-ther and NYE-ther pronunciations are felt to be pretentious (or British, if that’s different) while the EE-ther and KNEE-ther pronunciations aren’t so felt.

LH

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


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