Although I was pretty sure of the answer, i.e. that "between ... AND"
was the correct or at least preferred usage, it was harder than I
thought it would be to find an online reference saying so. However,I
did finally locate two reputable sources for you that do state it
clearly, though it is also clear that, as bill10-ga implied in his
comment below, the difference is really a matter of style rather than
In your example you are talking a decision involving a choice
involving two entities. BOTH of them are being considered, which is
indicated by using "between ... and." Using "or" doesn't work, because
that would mean you are considering only one, and of course we cannot
talk about deciding "between" only one entity. The word "between"
itself implies a plurality of two, though it can refer to more under
certain circumstances. The "American Heritage Book of English Usage,"
talks about this when it says that "between" is used when "entities
are seen as determining the limits or endpoints of a range." See here
for a more complete discussion:
And so, in standard usage, "Between" should be followed by ... nouns
and/or pronouns joined by "and,"" although an example is given of
non-standard usage of "or" similar to your example above.
--From an archived issue of Acu-Write, a free newsletter published
by Portico Books. See here:
http://www.grammarandmore.com/edu/acu-write.htm#f and scroll down to
the paragraph entitled "between/among."
"...note the correct use of between ... and in this sentence: They had
a choice between wide shoulders and sidewalks. Using between ... or
instead is incorrect: They had a choice between wide shoulders or
--From "Garbl's Editorial Style Manual," a free online style guide
based on the Associated Press Stylebook and other references:
The AP Stylebook itself is not available for free, but it is for
purchase, in print and online editions. If you're interested in
obtaining a copy, here's where you can find more information or place
an order: http://www.apstylebook.com/
By the way, I couldn't find anything about this particular use of
"between" in Strunk's "Elements of Style," but it's still a good
reference and it's available online at Bartleby.com for free. Here's
the link in case you'd like to have it:
I hope this fully answers your question, but if not please do use the
"Request Clarification" feature to ask before rating and closing your
question. I want to be sure you have what you need!
Thanks for an interesting hunt.
Although, as I said, initially it was a challenge finding specific
information on this topic, ultimately the following search terms
yielded the best results:
[English grammar "between followed by"]
[English "correct use of between"]
[english usage "between"]
I also searched for "between" on Bartleby.com in the Reference section
under English Usage, Style and Composition, here: