"Nor do I." and "Neither do I."

Discussion in 'English Only' started by cheshire, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. cheshire

    cheshire Senior Member

    Catholic (Cat-holic, not Catholic)
    (1) Nor do I.
    (2) Neither do I.

    Is it really true that (1) is more stiff and formal?
  2. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    I think that your assumption is most correct.

    Yes you are right.

  3. cheshire

    cheshire Senior Member

    Catholic (Cat-holic, not Catholic)
    Thank you Mr Dotcom!
  4. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    ...only if "neither" is pronounced like "neether." ;)
  5. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    I am guessing that this is a U.S.American joke but I don't get it.

  6. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    Maybe AE vs. BE joke...

    Most American English speakers, in my experience, pronounce "neither" by making the ei dipthong rhyme with "knee." So the word sounds like "neether." Most British English speakers, at least in my stereotypical opinion ;), make the ei dipthong rhyme with "night." So the word sounds like "nyther."

    Since BE usually sounds more formal to AE ears, I was implying that if you pronounce "neither" the AE way, then "nor" sounds comparatively more formal; but if you pronounce "neither" the BE way, i.e. more formally, then "nor" is comparatively less formal.

  7. jimreilly

    jimreilly Senior Member

    American English
    Oh dear, American me who doesn't even always like "correct" English, and I say "neither" with the vowel like in "night"! Who knows? By the way, I don't think I have ever heard anyone say "nor do I". I do hear "neither do I" but I'm even more likely to hear "me neither"--but don't use it in a formal situation or on a test!
  8. cheshire

    cheshire Senior Member

    Catholic (Cat-holic, not Catholic)
    I'll take note of that. Thank you everybody!
  9. Rozax

    Rozax Senior Member

    English - USA
    I think the word 'nor' can sometimes negate the word 'or,' as well.

    "Neither he nor I are going."
  10. Moogey Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    USA English
    I agree with this.

    I say both "neether" and "nyther"

    "Nyther of them want to go"
    "Me neether"

  11. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    Thanks mate.
    My slowly snapping synapses came to that belated conclusion when I just went for a ride and actually thought about your joke.
    Sorry for being so thick.

  12. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    The difference between these phrases has little to do with formality.

    "I don't work well with committees."
    "Neither do I."
    (not I, between two)

    "None of the task force members has the foggiest notion how to proceed."
    "Nor do I."
    (not I, among many)

    As for informality, in AE at least, we've pretty much boiled it down to one answer that fits both situations-- "me either."
  13. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
  14. Otter Senior Member

    New York, New York
    Also: Neither of them want to go (Moogey's post.)

    Sorry, I haven't learned how to cross out, insert, etc. but, I believe, neither of the above quotes is correct.

    Neither, I believe, is singular.

    Neither means 'not either', so it means 'not either one'

    But then neither he nor I is going can't be right because it would be he is not going/I am not going. So I'm not really sure what would be correct (neither of us is going is correct)

    Neither of them wants to go (neither one of of them wants to go)

    Well, anyway, that's my two-cents worth of confusion.

  15. jokker Senior Member

    Exactly. I remember the first time hearing 'nyther' in a British movie and it took me some time to realize that the person was saying 'neither'. :p

    Afterwards, I began noticing the pronunciation of neither and have found that most American movies pronounce 'neether', whereas British movies pronounce 'nyther'.
  16. Yôn Senior Member

    Been an American all my life, and I pronounce it "nyther" (though I may not have pronounced it that way when I was younger).

    I do believe the difference in these sentences is in number. Neither/either apply only to two individuals. Nor/or are required when talking about more than two.

  17. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    I think they are used interchangeably in my family, linguos. If I had seen this episode of "Zorro", I would not have noticed anything "strange" about that part of the script. The Collins Spanish Dictionary (published in the UK) lists both "Neither do I" and "Nor do I".

    The character Diego is not American. Perhaps Disney considered "Nor do I" to be odd and got Diego to say these words in order to make him seem more exotic/foreign. I don't know, though.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  18. linguos

    linguos Senior Member

    Just as I thought. However, "neither" appears to be more frequent in use, especially in modern American TV productions.

    Thank you for your clarification, sir.

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