Posted: Apr 07, 2019 2:58 am
by don't get me started
My little boy just asked me what 'either' means as he was trying to use it in a sentence.
It got me thinking about the words neither and either. :think:

First off, there seems to be no real consensus as to how they are pronounced.
Neether or Nyether, eether or eyether.
(I think I use both. A bit like eeconomics/ehconomics.)
This seems to violate a commonsense assumption that a word should have some kind of standard, agreed upon pronunciation.
But, language being the human artifact that it is, that is probably expecting too much...

Then I was wondering about the usage.
I seem to remember some of my North American colleges using 'either' when agreeing with a negative statement.

A: I don't like Natto*
B: Me either.

This always struck me as a usage error.
To my way of thinking, agreeing with a negative statement needs a negator in the agreeing statement.

A: I don't like Natto.
B: I don't either/ Neither do I/ Me neither.

In both of these versions there is a negator. (Don't + either) or Neither with a hearable 'N'.
The response 'Me either' seems to be missing something to my ear.

* Natto, for those who don't know, is fermented (i.e. semi-rotten) soybeans. You either (!) like it or you don't.
There is no middle ground.
I don't. :yuk: