(neither) nor

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Tue May 8 15:24:00 UTC 2007

On May 8, 2007, at 7:25 AM, Beverly Flanigan wrote:

> Has anyone ever heard this kind of phrase sans "neither":
> "Kent Smith nor anyone from that office was present . . . ."
> The meaning was clearly "neither KS nor anyone else ...."

lovely.  surely there are more cites to be found.  the negative
disjunction is signaled perfectly well by "nor" (that is, the
"neither" is, technically, redundant), and for positive disjunction,
both "either... or" and simple "or" (without "either") are possible,
so simple "nor" would be an entirely natural development.

(query: are there good treatments of the alternation between
"either... or" and simple "or"?)

as far as i can tell, MWDEU doesn't mention simple "nor".  it does
have treatments of "neither... or" and of "nor" for "or" in negative


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