A mixture of both / the two ?

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Stefan Ivanovich

Senior Member
French
London, 1930. G attends a meeting where a 'spirit sensitive' woman relays messages that she says are delivered to her by spirits from 'the Other Side'. G is a no-nonsense guy, who initially held all this to be purely conjurer's tricks. But after a quarter of an hour or so, he starts to wonder: is there not some truth in what he is shown?
(a) He does not know whether he has seen truth or lies or a mixture of the two.
(b) He does not know whether he has seen truth or lies or a mixture of both.

Is (a) correct?
Is (b) correct?
If both (a) and (b) are correct, which is your favorite?
Why?

Thanks a lot. Stef

PS - Context and either (a) or (b) taken from a novel that was short-listed for the Booker prize 2005.
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Both are correct and entirely normal.
    Mixture of both is used more often both in Google (955k:681k) and in the British National Corpus (37:27).
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Thank you to you all. Special thanks to panjandrum for pointing to the BNC.
    By the way the book in question is "Arthur & George", by Julian Barnes, who chose (b).

    Stef
    But that's totally misleading. He did not choose "b". He simply wrote that sentence you mentioned. For all you or I know he might write a similar sentence with "a". :)
     
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