Re: Can "eitrher" be used if there are three or more selections?

Subject: Re: Can "eitrher" be used if there are three or more selections?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 12:01:59 -0700

John Posada wrote:

I have a sentence:

"If you tab past the third field without entering a check mark in
either of the three fields, a message is displayed."

Does either only apply when you have two choices or can I use it if
there are three or more choices? Should I be using "any" instead of
"either"?


Well, you just did use it for three choices. Did the Apocalypse happen?

The answer depends on whether you are following pedantic or common standards. Pedantically, you should reserve "either" for two choices. In practice, however, "either" is used for more than two choices all the time, and I doubt that many people notice or object. After all, what authority do the pedantic have, except the authority of other pedants who lived before them?

As with many grammatical questions, the solution is to use one standard consistently, or sidestep the question by a change of word or structure.


--
Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"I work for the pleasure of stopping,
I stop for the pleasure of beer."
-The Mollys, "The Lang Town"



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Can "eitrher" be used if there are three or more selections?: From: John Posada

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