Nitpickers’ debate: “Me either”

By Catherine Welborn

Over the weekend I heard an acquaintance use a phrase that’s like nails on a chalkboard to me: “Me either.” The conversation went like this:

“Do you want to go out tonight?”

“Not especially.”

“Yeah, me either.”

I cringed. “Me either” is way up there on my list of communication pet peeves. It’s one of the few errors—like “on accident”—that forces me to bite my tongue in lieu of lashing out to correct offenders.

There are many people, however, who aren’t bothered a bit by “Me either.” In fact, some people cite the oh-so-dependable Google test to prove that “Me either” is acceptable: When I searched “Me either,” Google came up with 12.2 million results. “Me neither” produced a measly 5.1 million results. At first glance it appears that “Me either” is more widely used than my preferred “Me neither.” But remember, Google is finding the phrases in any context, so it’s including results like the quote “This is no picnic for me either, buster” from the Freakonomics blog. Obviously, results like that shouldn’t count. I revised my searches to “No, me either” and “No, me neither” to avoid the context problem and got 1.39 million and 2.23 million results, respectively. With the necessary constraints, “Me neither” has almost double the hits.

But honestly, the Google test doesn’t hold that much weight with me. We all know that there’s plenty of copy on the Internet that is rife with errors, so who cares how many people have written “No, me either.” As far as I’m concerned, it’s still incorrect whether 1 million or 10 million use it. Over 21 million people have written “its time to go” after all, and the it’s/its rule isn’t exactly up for debate.

In an effort to be democratic here, though, I will invite you to weigh in on the “Me either” verses “Me neither” discussion:

Elaborate on your answer in the comment section.

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5 responses to “Nitpickers’ debate: “Me either”

  1. It also makes me crazy when folks say, “I could care less.” Of course, that means that you DO care, when what they want to convey is that the DON’T care!

  2. I don’t think I hear either version all that often. The one that REALLY bugs me: the slang “My Bad”. That one just drives me crazy. Grrrrrr to whoever coined that in the first place.

    Stuart
    The Rule of Three Writing Challenge

    http://wp.me/p1mecg-dO

    • Stuart, uh oh, now that I’ve alerted you to the “me either” error, you’re going to start hearing it all the time. It’ll drive you nuts, and it’s all my fault!

      And “My bad” is so bad! Who started that?

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting–and for the “like”!

  3. I absolutely cringe every time someone uses “have went”, or states that something is “3 foot” long!!!

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