Between you, me and the gatepost

Subject: Between you, me and the gatepost
From: Rollings Gill <WGILLR -at- WOK-MSMAIL-GW -dot- ISL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 1994 10:59:00 PDT

Following up Barb Miller's question about the correct use of between or
among for three-way relationships, Fowler's Modern English Usage has the
following to offer:

"The [Oxford English Dictionary] gives a warning against the superstition
that 'between' can be used only of the relationship between two things, and
that if there are more 'among' is the right preposition. 'In all senses
'between' has been, from its earliest appearance, extended to more than
two... It is still the only word available to express the relation of a
thing to many surrounding things severally and individually; 'among'
expresses a relation to them collectively and vaguely: we should not say
'the space lying among the three points' or 'a treaty among three

There is a bit more, but I think this part summarises the position nicely.

Gill Rollings, Technical Writer, Internet Systems Ltd
gill -dot- rollings -at- isl -dot- com

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