How to say "either" and "neither"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 27 22:57:11 UTC 2013

On Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM, W Brewer <brewerwa at> wrote:

> either [EYE-ther ~ EE-ther]:  Probably c. 1962, Brother Regan (EE not AY)
> told us boys a joke about an Englishman & an American arguing over the
> pronunciation of <either>, so they asked an Irishman (or maybe Scotsman) to
> decide: <<[AY-ther] will do>> he says.

FWIW, the distribution of (n)EE-ther and (n)EYE-ther is IMO, totally
random, like unto EE-conomic v. EK-conomic, in BE. E.g. I use EE-, but my
mother used EYE-. But plenty of people in my congeries also use EYE-. So,
it's not a generational thing and it doesn't have anything to do with
social status, either. You simply "go for what you know." It matters not.

I had no idea that there was any controversy regarding the pronunciation of
these words amongst y'all. Is there also a controversy WRT EE-conomic v.
EK-conomic amongst y'all that I don't know about?

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 -

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