Submitted by m56  •  July 20, 2005

Omitting “will”

“1. I am a carnivore and a predator though sometimes I will scavenge. I live in the Arctic where I stay by myself most of my life. I am well camouflaged in the snow, though my skin is actually black to absorb the heat of the sun. I will kill and eat seals and walruses, but I will also eat carrion, such as a dead whale. I love water and am such a strong swimmer that I can swim miles at a time. Who am I?” From rogerwilliamsparkzoo.org

How would the removal of “will” affect the meaning of the above passage? Would the writer’s intended effect still be fully appreciated?

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"Will" can indicate a ability or capacity. Used here, "will" emphasises the fact that, for example, "I'm *usually* a predator but *if need be* I will scavenge." With that said, I would remove the "will" from "I will kill and eat..." since that is a polar bear's MO. (Unless we're talking about an insane super Inuit...)

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*an* ability

PIMF lol

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Yes, that's the answer I am going to submit to the zoo's website. Nanook on roids.

I agree that "will" adds the dramatic flair that the writer is going for here, since eating carrion could be viewed as not the normal, preferred diet of the polar bear. So saying "I will kill and eat seals and walruses...." should be changed to take "will" out. I would only note that this type of drama is appropriate for the given context of a museum. In fact, we can't say that a polar bear would rather hunt than find carrion. If that were the case, there wouldn't be the problems they have up there between people and bears, or in national parks with brown and black bears.

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