(neither) nor

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Fri May 25 14:21:08 UTC 2007

On May 19, 2007, at 6:57 AM, i quoted an example of "NP nor NP"
lacking "neither":

> I would like it to be known by everyone, that I have played a gay
> character three times before in my career, one when I was twelve
> (which is on youtube), one when I was fifteen, and another when I was
> seventeen. I, nor my management...

today i thought to try searching on {"I nor" -neither} and got four
good examples in the first 50 hits (of a great many, including many
irrelevancies).  it looks like "neither"-less disjunction is more
common in the vernacular than i would have thought:

I nor any of my members can log on IPB Bug Reports.
[this is the entire entry]

(by Photography Steve Bennett (313), Atone Pain Tribe ( I nor 313
participated nor performed for this show. I just did photography for
it)., ...
[note double use of "X nor Y"]

I, nor my host, nor my file server, nor my ISP are responsible for
what you do with the patches and ROM images found on this site. ...
[beginning of entry]

... once visionary and creating positive change, their anger has
overcome them, and they are no longer people that I, nor many others
are willing to follow. ...


since we've been collecting variants of disjunction, i'll also
mention "nor X nor Y", with the first "nor" serving where "neither"
would be expected.  the OED's subentry 6 for "nor" has this one,
marked as poetical and literary, and the google webhits seem to
confirm this stylistic judgment: unlike "I nor Y", where the relevant
hits are all vernacular, "nor I nor Y" pulls up piles of distinctly
poetical hits.


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

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