No Doubt Just a Momentarily Slip, Governor But…

…on behalf of  William Strunk Jr., E.B. White and English teachers everywhere, when comparing or contrasting more than two items,  “among” is the proper preposition.

Your final grade is not jeopardized should this remain an aberration:

Brown surprises state board, calls for adoption of LCFF regs

by Tom Chorneau

(Calif.) Taking clear control of the debate over school funding governance, Gov. Jerry Brown made a rare appearance at the state board of education meeting Thursday saying the draft regulations pending before the panel met a balance between flexibility and accountability.

“I like to find the truth between the reformers, the unions, the parents, the students – who all work together even though they all have different perspectives,” Brown said. “This set of regulations has that flexibility to incorporate different perspectives while the overall goal of achievement, of directing more funding where the challenges are greater and setting up a template and mechanism of accountability.”


Filed under: Governor, Overheard


  1. Sorry, that’s a phony rule, courtesy of 19th century pendants who loved making petty, artificial distinctions. The Oxford English Dictionary, the most authoritative dictionary in the world, writes: “In all sentences, ‘between’ has, from its earliest appearance, been extended to more then two. In Old English and Middle English, it was so extended in sense I [the simplest prepositional meaning], in which ‘among’ is now considered better. It is still the only word available to express the relation of a thing to many surrounding things severally and individually, ‘among’ expressing a relation to them collectively and vaguely: we should not say ‘the space lying among the three points,’ or ‘a treaty among three powers,’ or ‘the choice lies among the three candidates in the select list,’ or ‘to insert a needle among the closed petals of a flower.'”

    Brown’s wording is indeed this more specific sense; “among” would be vaguer and more mealy-mouthed.

    Comment by Minivet — 1.17.2014 @ 9:52 pm

  2. Thank you for calling out a pet peeve: proper use of between and among. Grammar police must hold the line, even when governors get it wrong.

    Comment by ThinkChick — 1.19.2014 @ 10:59 pm

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