This is a news headline on CNN.

I was targeted during Nixon's administration. Trump shouldn't make an enemies list, too.

Why do they use "too", instead of " either" here? Isn't it a grammatical error?

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  • And don't assume journalists write well either.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 15:14
  • This headline is a quote, and it should be just like the author said it. Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 15:19
  • Please note that back in March you were asked not to post images without transcriptions. Please re-read the comment, and please don't do this in future questions.
    – user230
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 15:29
  • @bartolo-otrit [some] journalists are notoriously sloppy about quoting people accurately. Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


It is not

Trump shouldn't make a shopping list and an enemies list too.

but rather:

Trump should not make an enemies list as Nixon did.

Nixon made an enemies list. An enemies list should not be made by Trump, too [i.e. in addition to Nixon, or adding his own name to the names of presidents who made an enemies list].

This is a perfectly idiomatic colloquial English statement. The placement of too can create ambiguities, but context usually clears them up.

The statement means "Trump, now, should not be doing the same thing himself".

Suppose someone asked the same question yesterday, and now today you're asking it. One could say:

This question was asked and answered yesterday. You shouldn't be asking the question too.

P.S. either instead of too there would say that neither Nixon nor Trump should have engaged in the practice. too does not entail anything untoward about Nixon, just as in my last example with too there's no critique of the person who asked the question yesterday.

  • I'm not convinced. There's a difference between We're going, but you shouldn't go too and We're not going, and you shouldn't go either. But OP's text doesn't give the full context anyway, so I don't know which of those usages applies to the cited text. Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 15:18
  • 1
    +1. Knowing that Nixon (quite famously) had an enemies list is enough context to understand the headline, I think.
    – user230
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 15:34
  • @snailboat: The question title mentioned "in this negative sentence" so I figured the OP might be questioning the semantics of "not .... also".
    – TimR
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 15:42
  • @FumbleFingers: I cannot convince you that it's perfectly idiomatic (at least in AmE) except by finding attestations of the (colloquial) pattern.
    – TimR
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 15:43

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