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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2016-11-26 00:16:03

Registered: 2016-10-23
Posts: 27

Neither for either

Today I read in our local fish wrap the following sentence:

“It’s been 20 seasons since neither team went to a bowl game following the (Oregon State and UofO) Civil War and 25 years since both finished with losing records.”

My gut feeling says either (one) trumps neither (one) for grammatical correctness. Yet I can see where both would appear to make sense.

Anyone have an opinion or citation I can use to confirm or deny my assertion?



#2 2016-11-26 11:34:08

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2228

Re: Neither for either

Both are “grammatical” for me, but they don’t mean the same thing. As printed it says “during the last 19 seasons one or other of the teams, or both, have gone to a bowl game.” This fits the context: this year both have had losing records and (presumably) as a result neither is in a bowl game. If it said “either” it would mean “neither team has gone to a bowl game during the last 19 seasons”. What would be different about this season, in that case?

*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)



#3 2016-11-27 05:50:48

Registered: 2016-10-23
Posts: 27

Re: Neither for either

Thank you, David. Your analysis does clarify the statement for me. Will go with “neither.” Much appreciated.



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