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 12:21:02 -0700

Jo Baer wrote:

Then again, I just looked it up in two dictionaries: one allows "either" for two
or more choices, the other just for two choices. I still agree that "any" is the
better choice here.


Besides the fact that I am a firm believer in descriptive grammar, the reason that I'm not too concerned about whether "either" is used for two or three choices is that I don't find the distinction especially useful. I mean, is the number of choices really relevant in most cases? Why should I make a distinction between two choices and two or more and not between two, three, and three or more?

Sometimes, of course, the distinction is worth keeping,if only for cheap amusement. For example, to be completely proper, you "invoke" something good (like an angel) and "evoke" something evil (like a devil). If you know that, you can slip your opinion in without anyone noticing (I said it was cheap amusement).

But, most of the time, the distinctions of prescriptive grammar seem arbitrary. Often, I'm left wondering whether the distinction is supposed to be useful, or whether it is designed solely to divide the experts from the non-experts. In these cases, the distinction hardly seems worth making.




--
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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References:
Can "eitrher" be used if there are three or more selections?: From: John Posada
Re: Can "eitrher" be used if there are three or more selections?: From: Bruce Byfield
Re: Can "eitrher" be used if there are three or more selections?: From: Jo Baer

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