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  1. #11
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: "me neither" or "me either"?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    In two countries chosen, UK and Australia, and at Google.com, 'me either' is more common than 'me neither'.
    ...
    I should really leave this, as Cas's answer nearly says it all. There are other sorts of ellipsis, though, that make those Google stats almost totally irrelevant; beware what you ask for - you might get several million hits.

    Here are three, taken from the first screenful; I lost interest after that:

    • I'm not that much like me either. . . by Fiona 'Words Bird' Cowan · Guest Member on 3-Oct-06 9:48am. Fiona 'Words Bird' Cowan
    • I am willing to pay the person who helps me either a commission or royalties on the money that is made with this idea.
    • Due to my excessive travel the airlines now have to decide whether to give me either astronaut wings or seat upgrades.


    So, to give a fuller answer to dihen's original question, 'There are contexts that happen to allow the concatenation of me and either. In the context you have supplied, the versions to learn and use are "Me neither", "I don't like it either", or "Neither do I".'

    b

  2. #12
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: "me neither" or "me either"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    me either pops up in that context, yes. Ellipsis is the culprit:

    A: It doesn't work for me.
    B: (It doesn't work for) me, either. / Me, either.

    A: I don't like it.
    B: (As for) me, (I don't like it) either.

    A: I haven't seen the film.
    B: (As for) me, (I haven't seen the film) either.

    The question is, however, is shortened me, either considered standard usage in those contexts? (Google doesn't help us on that one, riverkid.)

    What would help us in this case, Casi? There is a great deal of ellipsis in speech and it's completely unremarkable. How many times must it be said; the rules of Standard English do not describe the rules for speech.

    You've shown us with your analysis above just how completely natural 'me either' is.


    On a related topic, would you say both Neither do I (post #4) and Either do I work as responses for "I don't like it"? Why or why not? If yes, is Either do I considered standard usage?

    Please note that, dihen asked, "Should I say...?", not What do people say? Dihen is aware that there's a variation out there - hence the question.

    Did I suggest that 'either do I' is an idiomatic response? When ESLs ask such a question, they must be given an adequate reponse to let them know what to expect in all language situations.

    Once again,, what grammatical reasons are there that would exclude 'me either'?


    All the best.
    All the best to you too, Casi?

  3. #13
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    Default Re: "me neither" or "me either"?

    Hopefully my picks here will generate a new thread and a new discussion.

    Google as a Quick 'n Dirty Corpus Tool
    by Thomas Robb

    ...anyone can make a web page these days including non-native speakers and first graders. This would seem to make Google useless as a source for such answers—or is it?

    Google can be used to derive creditable information in a number of ways:

    1) Instances might be found from "impeccable sources" which would authenticate its usage.

    2) We can show, by a careful selection of domains, that the frequency of occurrence of the word or phrase under scrutiny shows up with a similar relative frequency even in domains where one would expect educated usage.

    3) Strength of collocation - We can demonstrate that [me] collocates with the word in question [neither], even in domains indicating educated usage.

    As a corpus tool, using Google in this way has these drawbacks:

    -You can only search for specific words or phrases, not word categories or inflected forms [or modified forms, such as those that are the result of ellipsis].

    -There is no control over the educational level, nationality, or other characteristics of the creators of the utterances found,...

    -You have no control over the registers in the "corpus".

    -You cannot obtain accurate frequency statistics since there is no guarantee that the instances found are unique. In fact, duplicate hits are common.

    -You cannot subsort on adjacent words nor can you generate frequency lists or a list of collocates.

    On the positive side,

    -It is much more accessible than any corpus.

    -The database is huge compared to any existing corpus.

    -The index sites include blogs and discussions, which come very close to spoken language whereas much of the data in formal corpora are from more formal written styles.

    -The foregoing indicates that there are instances when Google can take the place of a specialized corpus when the main object is to identify whether a particular phrase is used or not and perhaps to indicate to what extent it is used by educated speakers or writers compared to the "general masses" of public web pages.
    ===================

    Search Engine TestFurther judgment: the Google test checks popular usage, not correctness. ... will remain an extremely inconsistent tool, which does not measure notability. ...

    The Google test is a useful tool. It is not perfect, nor is it the only measure ... Google/the internet is biased against American usage over other English ...

    =================

    Common Errors in English

    Google gives a measure of popularity by ranking its results in order of the number of links other people have created to them.

    "Foreign" language keyword research

    Well I tend to favor Google Adwords suggestion tool, though any result of this kind of tools should be taken with "a pinch of salt" : they are influenced by ranking checking softwares. Dont forget your common sense then.

    Also I do keyword research by frequenting the target audience. Ie if I have to search make-up related keywords, I will go in female forums and communities to have an idea of the real keywords they use.
    ===================
    This one's just funny:

    Using Google to write correct sentences | Antimoon Forum

    I think "suggest sb to do sth" is acceptable. I searched for "suggested me to" and found 3,000 instances in sentences that were written in perfectly good English.

    Can you say that 3,000 native speakers used an incorrect phrase? I'm very interested in your understanding of correctness. If the Web -- a collection of documents written by native speakers -- is a flawed source of knowledge about English, then what sort of source is acceptable?

    My conclusion from the 3,000 hits is that "suggest sb to do sth" is natural enough to be used by native speakers from time to time. I think there is no reason to correct a learner who uses this phrase.

    I took a closer look at the results returned by Google for a number of variations of "suggest sb to do sth", and I must admit you're right. The majority of the pages seem to have been written by non-natives. So, the phrase probably IS incorrect.

    I guess this shows that using the Web to verify hypotheses about the English language is quite tricky. Thank you for investigating this. I will have to be more careful in the future!


  4. #14
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    Default Re: "me neither" or "me either"?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    They must be given an adequate response to let them know what to expect in all language situations.
    That is exactly the point. Empower students. Give 'em the good, the bad, and the ugly. Show 'em the function, the distribution, and above all the whys. Your contribution failed to do that; it listed both variants as equally acceptable; they're not. You need to state that. Otherwise, you need to prove they are equally acceptable. And you haven't been able to convince us of that, yet. One needn't subscribe to Ps or Ds to know that certain grammatical constructs are the way they are because they admit clarity. That's not Grammar, it's common sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    You've shown us with your analysis above just how completely natural 'me either' is.
    Actually, no. 'natural' isn't a term I'd use to describe the variation.

    My intention in unraveling the data like that was to show ellipsis; that googling 'me either' isn't all that scientific if you don't know what it is you're looking at and looking for.

    Now, you could parse 'me either' as I have done (Shown here in [2] below) with the assumption that 'not' is there at an underlying level. But is that plausible? Do speakers really *think* that way? No. Too many words, too much baggage. Language change is simplex and much more efficient than that.

    [1] As for me, I do not like it either => Me, neither.
    [2] As for me, I do not like it, either => Me, either

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Once again, what grammatical reasons are there that would exclude 'me either'?
    The semantics of tags.

    ===========For example:

    I don't like driving in heavy traffic.
    Me neither.

    [Me neither] is the same as "Neither do I," but it's colloquial, not grammatical. "Me either" doesn't make sense—it would be like saying "Either you or I like driving in heavy traffic." Since the first person has said she doesn't like such driving, "Me either" would mean that the second person does enjoy it.

    Source: Ask the English Teacher: Neither or Either?
    ============

    Now, You could also parse 'me either' as a replacement for 'me too', which by the way is a more plausible solution, not to mention the one speakers are most likely adopting.

    A: I don't like it.
    B: Me, too. => Me, either.

    The next question, riverkid, are 'either' and 'too' interchangeable in that context?

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Casiopea; 27-Jan-2007 at 18:53.

  5. #15
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: "me neither" or "me either"?

    There's no doubt that Google has its limitations, Casi. To my mind that's not really the central issue right now.

    For me, it's these ongoing attempts to marginalize some perfectly natural uses by categorizing them as outside of Standard English.

    Standard English is not the high water mark by which all aspects of English have to be or should be measured. We all use nonstandard English in speech daily. Surely, it's better to inform students of how and when these collocations are used than to take, what to my mind is an all too easy way out, and simply dismiss them as, what appears to be, again to my mind, nonstandard = incorrect.

    I think that ESLs have been given a much too much overly simplified version of how language works, particularly wrt these ongoing issues of what's "right and wrong".


    STANDARD ENGLISH, STANDARD. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993

    Every commentator on usage eventually comes back to these two terms and to what is or is not Standard, even though, despite its many objectively measurable qualities, any definition of Standard English is partly subjective. Ideally, Standard English is the language acceptable and normative among reputable people in reputable circumstances—the prestige dialect recognized throughout the area and populations to whom the standard applies.

    One can argue, for example, that there are indeed grammatical constructions and senses of words that are universally accepted wherever and by whomever English is spoken. One can then say that they are Standard English, in that everybody who is anybody uses, accepts, and approves them. Certainly few who meet that standard will accept deviations from it by others who claim to be their social equals. And when Standard speakers converse, most will deliberately use locutions proscribed by Standard English only if they are absolutely certain that their listeners will know they know better; if there is any chance that anyone will think the usage inadvertent, few will take the risk just to get a laugh.

    But obviously Standard American, Standard British, Standard Australian, and Standard Canadian English differ from each other in many particulars. And in some particulars, Boston Standard differs from that of New Orleans. This is clear to anyone who travels, goes to the movies, or listens to radio or television. It is also clear that there are differences within each of these regional dialects, and that the acceptability of one feature or another also may vary, depending upon who is calling the shots.

    STANDARD ENGLISH, STANDARD. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993
    Last edited by riverkid; 27-Jan-2007 at 19:55.

  6. #16
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: "me neither" or "me either"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    That is exactly the point. Empower students. Give 'em the good, the bad, and the ugly. Show 'em the function, the distribution, and above all the whys. Your contribution failed to do that; it listed both variants as equally acceptable; they're not. You need to state that. Otherwise, you need to prove they are equally acceptable. And you haven't been able to convince us of that, yet. One needn't subscribe to Ps or Ds to know that certain grammatical constructs are the way they are because they admit clarity. That's not Grammar, it's common sense.

    Actually, no. 'natural' isn't a term I'd use to describe the variation.
    A quick look at your first response shows us that we probably should refrain from getting into who failed to show what, Casi. But you are right in that I should have been more specific. In casual everyday English both are equally acceptable, meaning that both function in the same grammatical fashion. More on the clarity issue in a moment.


    My intention in unraveling the data like that was to show ellipsis; that googling 'me either' isn't all that scientific if you don't know what it is you're looking at and looking for.

    Now, you could parse 'me either' as I have done (Shown here in [2] below) with the assumption that 'not' is there at an underlying level. But is that plausible? Do speakers really *think* that way? No. Too many words, too much baggage. Language change is simplex and much more efficient than that.

    [1] As for me, I do not like it either => Me, neither.
    [2] As for me, I do not like it, either => Me, either
    That a 'not' is understood in [2] "me, either" is completely plausible, Casi, in fact, it is indisputable. We all know what the meaning is in commonly understood English. "me either" means the same thing as "me neither". It is a negative agreement response to a negative statement.

    Had this been an issue pertinent and germane to the discussion, and indeed it would be something highly salient to students don't you think, it would have been raised at the outset, because it would make all other discussion moot. It was not raised. Why do you think that would be, Casi?

    The semantics of tags.

    ===========For example:

    I don't like driving in heavy traffic.
    Me neither.

    [Me neither] is the same as "Neither do I," but it's colloquial, not grammatical. "Me either" doesn't make sense—it would be like saying "Either you or I like driving in heavy traffic." Since the first person has said she doesn't like such driving, "Me either" would mean that the second person does enjoy it.

    Source: Ask the English Teacher: Neither or Either?
    ============
    Now, You could also parse 'me either' as a replacement for 'me too', which by the way is a more plausible solution, not to mention the one speakers are most likely adopting.

    A: I don't like it.
    B: Me, too. => Me, either.

    The next question, riverkid, are 'either' and 'too' interchangeable in that context?
    You may be able to parse a 'me either' as a 'me too' in languages where positive agreement to a negative statement is the norm, but that isn't the case for English. Since a 'me too', as a measure of agreement, to a negative statement is foreign to ENLs' grammars, it isn't likely, IMO, that that's what's happening.

    And again, the meaning, the real meaning illustrates that it couldn't be. With all due respect, Casi, I'm not the one who has attempted to conflate 'me either' and 'me too'.

  7. #17
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: "me neither" or "me either"?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    ...
    For me, it's these ongoing attempts to marginalize some perfectly natural uses by categorizing them as outside of Standard English.
    I'm not trying to marginalize anything riverkid. I'm not talking about grammar - with or without a capital P. I'm talking about what people say. Native speakers, in any context, in any register, just don't say 'Me either' in the context dihen asked about (in British English).

    Just what do you mean by 'Standard'? I've read, understood, and agree with your quote.
    One can then say that they are Standard English, in that everybody who is anybody uses, accepts, and approves them.
    One can most definitely not say that 'everybody who is anybody uses, accepts, and approves "Me either"' in dihen's context. It is not 'standard' British English, in any meaningful interpretation of the word 'standard'. I wish I knew whether it was standard American English, but people who've said it is seem to be using a version of 'standard' that means nothing to me.

    b

  8. #18
    Agnes is offline Member
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    Default Re: "me neither" or "me either"?

    Geez!! Are they really saying 'either do I' somewhere out there? :O! It's great to have a site like this where we get to learn the correct way of speaking the language! Those are some of the mistakes that slip in slowly and with time start to sound normal!! Help us guys!!!! !!!!

  9. #19
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    Default Re: "me neither" or "me either"?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    There's no doubt that Google has its limitations, Casi. To my mind that's not really the central issue right now.
    Let's keep the continuity, riverkid, and end one topic before starting a new one. You've questions to answer.



    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    For me, it's these ongoing attempts to marginalize some perfectly natural uses by categorizing them as outside of Standard English.
    But the crux of the matter is that we are talking about Standard usage; i.e., dinhen's question, 'Should I say...?"
    should, auxiliary verb. Used to express obligation or duty: You should send her a note. 2. Used to express probability or expectation: They should arrive at noon.
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Standard English is not the high water mark by which all aspects of English have to be or should be measured.
    I agree wholeheartedly with you there. However, meandering up this and that tributary isn't helping the poster with his question. Some streams lead to swamps, others to waterfalls.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Surely, it's better to inform students of how and when these collocations are used
    Do you feel your response to dihen did that?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    ...simply dismiss them as, what appears to be, again what is to my mind, nonstandard = incorrect.
    That's an excellent point. If only that was dihen's question - but it wasn't. It's a good idea to answer the question first, then add the extras. Empower students. Don't have them believing both are equally acceptable. Sure, there's evidence supporting the usage, but what is that evidence? Who uses it, where, when, and why? Who doesn't use it, and why? Again, do you feel your response to dihen addressed or even tackled the 'how and when these collocations are used'?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    I think that ESLs have been given a much too much overly simplified version of how language works, particularly wrt these ongoing issues of what's "right and wrong".
    I'm not familiar with 'the ongoing issue of "right and wrong".' I've been away from the Forum for a few months. Has that been the case around here? Agh. Hmm. Now there's a great thesis topic in the making. I've a waterfall of thoughts on that one, riverkid. As things stand, though, we've yet to settle the first issue: given that 'me either' is considered non-standard usage in response to "I don't like it?", how can we express that in a way that will satisfy everyone, the Ps, the Ds, and those in between?

    What are your thoughts?

    Ps = prescriptivists
    Ds = descriptivists

  10. #20
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: "me neither" or "me either"?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I'm not trying to marginalize anything riverkid. I'm not talking about grammar - with or without a capital P. I'm talking about what people say. Native speakers, in any context, in any register, just don't say 'Me either' in the context dihen asked about (in British English).
    Given the limitations of Google, I'll have to accept what you say about this usage for BrE, Bob.

    If I have mischaracterized your meaning, then please accept my apologies. I think we can continue this discussion on the larger issue; What does it matter if it's standard English or not?

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