Any vs. Either
I just did a double-take when reading an article about creating passport photos using Photoshop Elements and another application. Here’s what threw me:
If you have any of these two applications, then you can follow this simple do-it-yourself project…
any of these two applications
In speaking of two applications, the word either is called for:
If you have either of these two applications.
If, however, one is talking about three or more applications, one may say:
If you have any of the photo editing applications available these days, you can….
either = one or the other; from OE hwaether, each of two
any = one indifferently out of more than two
The negative of either is neither.
Here are some quotations from the press:
… the poor and the unwanted, with people very much like my mother.My mother needed neither my pity nor my shame. Just my compassion and respect. … (www.nytimes.com)
… on trade and immigration — is taking root within his adopted party, and those uneasy with grievance politics are either giving in or giving up the fight. (www.nytimes.com)
Hearty and nutritious, but still buttery and rich, these unfussy pancakes come together quickly and without any special equipment. (www.nytimes.com)
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