September 30, 2012 by kitcac
The Grand Old Duke of York had ten thousand men. This is common knowledge, is it not?
The Duke was really quite a task-master because he was always just marching them up and down hills for no apparent reason. Perhaps it was a training exercise. It isn’t clear from the song.
In any event, we can all probably agree that when they were up, they were up and when they were down, they were down.
However, when they were only half-way up they were neither up nor down.
Herein lies my dilemma. It is threefold.
Firstly, are the ten thousand men all standing in a very straight line at exactly the same point on the hill? If not, some are going to be closer to the top than the bottom and vice versa.
Secondly, if the ten thousand men are “half-way up”, then surely that suggests that they are closer to up rather than down because otherwise they would be described as “half-way down”? I know that it doesn’t rhyme properly if you change it to half-way down but its a quandary nonetheless.
Thirdly, do you pronounce neither as in “n-eye-ther” or neither as in “nee-ther”? Stavros and I cannot agree on this point. It is driving a wedge between us.