- "He was both deaf to argument and entreaty" (cited by Gowers). The rule involved here is that of correlative conjunctions, which states that in a sentence of this type both and and should link grammatically similar entities. If both is followed immediately by a verb, and should also be followed immediately by a verb. If both immediately precedes a noun, then so should and. In the example above, however, both is followed by an adjective (deaf) and and by a noun (entreaty).The sentence needs to be recast, either as "He was deaf to both argument [noun] and entreaty [noun]" or as "He was deaf both to argument [preposition and noun] and to entreaty [preposition and noun]."The rule holds true equally for other such pairs: "not only... but also," "either ... or," and "neither ... nor."
Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.
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Both — Both, conj. As well; not only; equally. [1913 Webster] Note: Both precedes the first of two co[ o]rdinate words or phrases, and is followed by and before the other, both . . . and . . .; as well the one as the other; not only this, but also that; … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
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