AP Radio News (March 3) narrated that:
“It’s anybody’s guess who win the best picture. It seems to be a close race between “American Hustle,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity.”
I was under impression that ‘between’ is used for comparison, selection and differentiation of two things or objects, and 'among' is used in case of refering to more than three things or objects, since I learned so at middle school. As I was uncertain of the accuracy of my memory of more than a half century ago, I consulted dictionaries:
Online CED defines ‘between’ as:
prep, ad. in or into the space that separates two places, people, or objects.
However, online Merriam-Webster English Dictionary defines it as:
prep, : in the space that separates (two things or people)
: in the time that separates (two actions, events, etc.)
: in shares to each of (two or more people).
And, online OED gives reference to the use of ‘between’ for differentiation among two or more things:
- At, into, or across the space separating (two objects or regions):
- In the period separating (two points in time):
- In the interval separating (two points on a scale):
- With reference to a choice or differentiation involving two or more things being considered together: ex. You have to choose between two or three different options.
Is the use of ‘between’ instead of ‘among’ for differentiation of, and selection out of two more (five, six, ten) things or objects commonplace today? Is the distinction between "between" and "among" being blurred today?