Neither / Nor


From: "Betty Jane M. Honeycutt"

Subject: Neither. . .nor

I notice the discussion between you and your proofreader regarding the part of speech represented by neither. . .nor. Perhaps your proofreader did not understand the question: fish, flesh, and fowl are nouns; the words joining them into a list are not nouns.

According to the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, they are neither pronouns nor adverbs; they are disjunctive or separative conjunctions. (See paragraph 5.185.)

Paragraph 5.182 also mentions them as correlative conjunctions, but that discussion involves joining clauses rather than separating alternatives as does 5.185.

The question with which I came to your site had to do with whether neither (without the nor) always implies mention of two things, not more. Thank you for providing H. W. Fowler's comments.

--- Betty Jane Honeycutt
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