USAGE: "each other" vs. "each ... the other"
|Date:||Tuesday, December 9, 2003, 13:22|
Christophe Grandsire scripsit:
> >It is illogical on its face: if A is in front of B, B cannot be in front
> >of A, assuming a single reference frame.
> Why should you?
English just does. It's interesting that "each is in front of the other"
is unexceptionable (though unidiomatic), but "they are in front of each
other" sounds paradoxical: a difference of scope, I suppose.
Would you also say, in the case of two standing back to back, that they
are behind each other? If I read "Each man walked behind the other",
I would think the author has blundered, and would correct it to "One
man walked behind the other"; i.e. front to back in the ordinary way.
John Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org www.reutershealth.com www.ccil.org/~cowan
"It's the old, old story. Droid meets droid. Droid becomes chameleon.
Droid loses chameleon, chameleon becomes blob, droid gets blob back
again. It's a classic tale." --Kryten, _Red Dwarf_