Either, either, neither, neither; let’s call the whole thing off.

by | Mar 12, 2013 | All Other Blog, Favorite Blog

Just for fun: If you are interested in linguistics and dialects, as in that 1937 Gershwin tune, you may like this article: It’s written by a Harvard professor, Bert Vaux (and former student, now at MIT), who has studied and mapped dialects in various geographic areas — a personal lifelong interest. There are many interesting examples such as the simple #1, pronunciation of “aunt”; and the more obscure #82. “What do you call the gooey or dry matter that collects in the corners of your eyes, especially while you are sleeping?”

And, in what may come as no surprise, there are regional preferences, as in #50, “What word(s) do you use to address a group of two or more people?” –You? You guys? You all (or the distinctly different, Y’all)? –Or, in the very regional 0.7% case of my beloved New Jersey–Youse? For the various entries, the popularity is “mapped” to show where these usages cluster. It’s a good article. (Even though I didn’t see that collective plural choice “All y’all”.)

Here’s the link: http://www4.uwm.edu/FLL/linguistics/dialect/maps.html

And no, neither either/either, nor neither/neither is on the list. (And good luck saying that one fast.)


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