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Taken from BBC

Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov described the referendum as a "great farce" which "will never be recognised either by Ukraine or by the civilised world".

My try is

Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov described the referendum as a "great farce" which "will never be recognised neither by Ukraine nor by the civilised world".

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    Yours seems to suffer from some kind of double negative. – d'alar'cop Mar 17 '14 at 11:16
  • Perhaps you're thinking of something like: "which will never be recognized, not by Ukraine nor by the civilised world"." – F.E. Mar 17 '14 at 18:32
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Would not the 'neither/nor' coupling make a double negative statement in your try?

It is not common in standard British English to the best of my knowledge (I am not a native speaker though), however used in South American English, African American Vernacular English, and most English regional dialects (taken from the Wikipedia article Double negative).

Although the following construction raises the negation count to sky-high levels, it employs usage of nor/nor (also an uncommon one), which seems relevant:

In the Harry Enfield sketch "Mr Cholmondley-Warner's Guide to the Working-Class", a stereotypical Cockney employs a septuple-negative: "Inside toilet? I ain't never not heard of one of them nor I ain't nor nothing."

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With never you have to use either/or, because you can't use two negative adverbs together. In some foreign languages you can..not in English.

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Mr Turchynov's version can't be criticised: "...will never be recognised either by Ukraine or by the civilised world".

The alternative form would be: "...will be recognised neither by Ukraine nor by the civilised world".

But you can't put never up against neither/nor, or the result is a cancellation of negatives, leaving the sentence meaning the opposite of what was intended.

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  • The correct word to put against neither/nor would be ever, but I don't see a way to put it there. – Joe Z. Mar 17 '14 at 14:22
  • @JoeZ. "neither Ukraine nor the civilized world will ever recognize..." – TylerH Mar 17 '14 at 18:08
  • In the passive voice the way the sentence is currently, I mean. – Joe Z. Mar 17 '14 at 18:36
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either...nor, as per your question title is never correct.

"will never be recognised neither by Ukraine nor by the civilised world" is using a double negative and is considered, at best, dialectal. If we parse this sentence logically it would be equal to: "will be recognized by either the Ukraine or the civilized world (or both depending on the inclusivity of OR)"

One possible acceptable usage would be "It will never be recognized. Neither by Ukraine nor by the civilised world." In this case it would acceptable since the 2 sentences are separate.

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