[Ads-l] neither/either avoidance

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 11 12:05:14 EST 2017

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>>
> 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

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