Tag Archives: FiveFingers

On the other foot, I have FiveFingers

Yes, the title of this post is a somewhat cryptic allusion to the second half of the familiar idiom used to contrast two ideas or statements: “on the one hand…on the other hand.

But, no, there are no typos or mistakes in the title itself. Before I explain, here is a syntactical aside.

aside The original idiom not only sets up a contrast between the two phrases, but it also joins them together. By itself, each half is a prepositional phrase of identical structure — preposition / article / adjective / noun — but when used together they function exactly like correlative conjunctions, “pairs of conjunctions that work together to coordinate two items.” Grammatically, this pairing is indistinguishable from either…or, both…and, not only…but also, etc. In fact, as the last one shows, a correlative conjunction can have multi-word elements.

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