Comments for Pain in the English http://painintheenglish.com Forum for the gray areas of the English language Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:41:21 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Pronouncing “str” like “shtr” as in “shtrong” “shtrange” by J. Quinnes http://painintheenglish.com/case/5231/#comment-26082 J. Quinnes Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:06:53 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5231/#comment-26082 I don't necessarily think that these are examples of mispronunciations. As @Roger Stoddard pointed out, the "shtr" pronunciation is probably present in a number of different dialects (and ideolects!). As such, I wouldn't call it a mispronunciation; rather, I see it as an example of dialectal difference, linguistic change, and linguistic variation.

I also see the addition of the "h" to the "str"consonant cluster as just another example of the linguistic devices that we employ all the time to ease pronunciation. My initial reaction is to call "shtr" an example of epenthesis: adding a sound to a word. But I could be wrong...

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Comment on Putative (-ly) vs. Supposed (-ly) vs. Ostensible (-y) by shailluis http://painintheenglish.com/case/5290/#comment-26081 shailluis Mon, 15 Sep 2014 05:55:59 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5290/#comment-26081 The oil was then burned to scent the air. Today, most perfume is used to scent bar soaps.
http://www.alatarji.net

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Comment on Putative (-ly) vs. Supposed (-ly) vs. Ostensible (-y) by shailluis http://painintheenglish.com/case/5290/#comment-26080 shailluis Mon, 15 Sep 2014 05:54:55 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5290/#comment-26080 Perfume comes from the Latin "per" meaning "through" and "fumum," or "smoke." Many perfumes were made by extracting natural oils from plants through pressing and steaming.
Parfuem

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Comment on Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive by shailluis http://painintheenglish.com/case/5296/#comment-26079 shailluis Mon, 15 Sep 2014 05:47:31 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5296/#comment-26079 we are a leader in Perfume products & as a distributor / dealer in Europe .Browse our collection of fragrance best Alatarji products for sales in your perfume shop.
http://www.alatarji.net/

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Comment on Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive by shailluis http://painintheenglish.com/case/5296/#comment-26078 shailluis Mon, 15 Sep 2014 05:44:48 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5296/#comment-26078 we are a leader in Perfume products & as a distributor / dealer in Europe .Browse our collection of fragrance best Alatarji products for sales in your perfume shop.perfume

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Comment on “Anglish” by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/4392/#comment-26077 jayles the unwoven Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:57:59 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/4392/#comment-26077 @AnWulf Thank you for this: it is refreshing to climb out of the latinate ruts of today's English.
That said, my understanding is that "pithy" stems from c 1520 not earlier?
And I seem to recall either Chaucer or Shakespeare using "siker" where we might use "certainly" today?

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Comment on Fora vs Forums by Melategg http://painintheenglish.com/case/627/#comment-26076 Melategg Wed, 10 Sep 2014 19:46:05 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/627/#comment-26076 Latin is not a dead language, it is actually the language used in the Vatican City. Language is fluid and morphs all the time, fora will become forums, stadia will become stadiums and the originals will be forgotten. Who says'refrigerator', 'perambulator' or 'influenza' any more?

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Comment on “Anglish” by AnWulf http://painintheenglish.com/case/4392/#comment-26075 AnWulf Wed, 10 Sep 2014 08:11:37 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/4392/#comment-26075 I saw this in a sci-fi book over the weekend:

"English was the common tongue of the Imperium and seemed likely to remain so. Its flexibility, concision, and adaptability were certainly vastly preferable to Universal.

Throwing out the articles, to, and 'and', there 18 words. Of those, eight (8) or 44%, ar Anglo rooted … English, was, tongue, seemed, likely, so, its, were. The lave … common, imperium, remain, flexibility, concision (yuck … conciseness would hav been a tad better), adaptability, certainly, vastly, preferable, universal are Latinates.

Thankfully he wrote 'tongue' (French rooted spelling), 'seemed' and 'likely' rather than 'language', 'appeared', and 'probably'.

However, we can do better even tho a few of these are tuff words to swap out:

common - widespred, mainstream, main, overall
Imperium - Rike
remain - stay (Skeat has it of Teut. root), blive
flexibility - freedom, bendsumness, bendiness, stretchiness, litheness
concision - shortness, pithiness
adaptability - blendness, fitness, fittingness
certainly - wisly, gewiss, without nay, huru
vastly - greatly
preferable - better lik't
universal - all, overall, broad, everyday mainstream, one-tung … broad-tung

"English was the main tung of the Rike and seem'd likely to blive so. Its litheness, pithiness, and fittingness were without nay the better choosing than Broad-tung."

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Comment on Everybody vs. Everyone by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/1022/#comment-26074 Warsaw Will Tue, 9 Sep 2014 06:49:39 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/1022/#comment-26074 I've just noticed this from dogreed way back in 2010:

' The words "everyone" and "everybody" are not entirely interchangeable. For example, the phrase "God bless us, everyone" is generally taken to mean "God bless us all," while the phrase "God bless us, everybody" might be taken to mean "hey y'all, God bless us." '

Except that the standard phrase isn't "God bless us, everyone", but "God bless us, every one".

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=God+bless+us+everyone%2CGod+bless+us+every+one&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CGod%20bless%20us%20everyone%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CGod%20bless%20us%20every%20one%3B%2Cc0

As has been pointed out by douglas.bryant and others, "everyone" is not the same as "every one".

But this seems to be a common mistake: the best-known instance of the "God bless us" quote is no doubt that from Dicken's 'A Christmas Carol'. If Tiny Tim had indeed said "God bless us, everyone!", as is falsely quoted in Wikipedia and elsewhere, his meaning would in fact have been rather like a southerner's "hey y'all, God bless us." - the one dogreed gives to "everybody".

But in fact, what Tiny Tim actually says was "God bless us, every one!", meaning something like "God bless us all," or "God bless us, each and every one of us" and which is repeated on the last page.

http://books.google.pl/books?id=MlMHAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=a+christmas+carol&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ONkOVIOdI-fnyQO7zYHQCA&redir_esc=y#v=snippet&q=%22god%20bless%20us%20every%20one%22&f=false

There's a discussion about this common misquotation, which goes back at least to the 1870s, here:

http://books.google.pl/books?id=Jldiza39QrcC&pg=PA54&dq=%22god+bless+us+everyone%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cdEOVIXJKMu6ygOB8YDgDw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22god%20bless%20us%20everyone%22&f=false

So it's back to the drawing board for that one. They are interchangeable. From Oxford Online:

Everyone = Every person: "everyone needs time to unwind."
Everybody = Every person: "everybody agrees with his views."

I see absolutely no subtle difference of meaning between those two example sentences.

douglas.bryant has already mentioned Fowler. In the entry on 'everyone, everybody' in The Merriam Webster Dictionary of English Usage, the only discussion is about what pronoun usually follows them - there is absolutely nothing about any possible difference in meaning or shade.

Look up 'everybody' in most dictionaries and usage books and they simply refer you to 'everyone'. If there were these differences people are talking about here, why do no dictionaries or usage books refer to them, I wonder? Why are there no usage notes explaining the difference?

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Comment on Everybody vs. Everyone by onez http://painintheenglish.com/case/1022/#comment-26073 onez Mon, 8 Sep 2014 14:08:58 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/1022/#comment-26073 logically, i would say, 'everyone' can be referred as 'each one of you'(in a group of people) and 'everybody' can be referred as 'all of you'(in a group of people)

both words are synonym. it depends to the people we want it to be pointed to.

sometimes, it is not about what books tell us. but, it is what or how we want it to be..

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Comment on When did contacting someone become reaching out? by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5299/#comment-26072 Warsaw Will Wed, 3 Sep 2014 16:37:35 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5299/#comment-26072 @Phil Woodford - that sounds pretty much like this definition from Oxford Dictionaries Online:

"(chiefly North American) Seek to establish communication with someone, with the aim of offering or obtaining assistance or cooperation:

"his style was to reach out all the time, especially to members of his own party anyone in need of assistance should reach out to the authorities as soon as possible" '

Admittedly this is slightly different from the meaning I'm used to, but what both Hairy Scot and I have noticed is that 'reach out' is being used to simply mean 'contact' as in these examples form various tech sites:

‘If you would like any other suggestions or need help with transitioning your current Google Reader RSS feeds, please reach out to a Library’

‘Wired has also reached out to Google for additional comment.’

‘If you want to follow up, feel free to reach out to me by phone.’

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Comment on What’s happening to the Passive? by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5302/#comment-26071 jayles the unwoven Mon, 1 Sep 2014 16:40:46 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5302/#comment-26071 Hungarians who learn English "tend to avoid using the English passive voice" : believe me it does NOT make for plain and simple English.

http://www.acta.sapientia.ro/acta-philo/C2-2/philo22-9.pdf

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Comment on What’s happening to the Passive? by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5302/#comment-26070 jayles the unwoven Mon, 1 Sep 2014 15:50:26 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5302/#comment-26070 One way of writing simple, plain English is to make the topic of the paragraph the subject of the sentence.

Thus :
Eggs. Eggs are eaten the world over. They are fried, boiled, scrambled, poached and eaten raw. They are considered highly nutritious, although somewhat high in cholesterol.

The above is more coherent and cohesive than the following version which jumps around more:

Eggs. People eat them the world over. They fry, boil, scramble and poach them and eat them raw. They consider them highly nutritious, although eggs are somewhat high in cholesterol.

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Comment on Use my brain or brains? by Phil Woodford http://painintheenglish.com/case/5285/#comment-26069 Phil Woodford Mon, 1 Sep 2014 15:50:20 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5285/#comment-26069 This is the kind of idiomatic quirk which drives no-English speakers crazy. But, yes, it can definitely be pluralised.

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Comment on When did contacting someone become reaching out? by Phil Woodford http://painintheenglish.com/case/5299/#comment-26068 Phil Woodford Mon, 1 Sep 2014 15:44:40 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5299/#comment-26068 I was hearing 'reaching out' on US TV shows such as NYPD Blue 20 years ago. The cops would use it to describe the process of contacting someone with whom they'd previously had no relationship or trying to re-establish a rapport with someone who was now more distant or estranged. It was usually used in the context of getting help or assistance.

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Comment on What’s happening to the Passive? by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5302/#comment-26067 Warsaw Will Mon, 1 Sep 2014 14:31:15 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5302/#comment-26067 @Sophie - I'm all for simpler English, but the passive should be regarded in the same way as any other construction - not get the blanket (and unthinking) disapproval it does in certain quarters.

It is very easy to be long-winded using only the active voice, and it is equally possible to be informal using the passive. Which is the more long-winded here, I wonder:

The company have dismissed him.
He's been sacked.

The passive is especially useful in English, where we don't have reflexive verbs, and for information packaging - starting a sentence with given, known information and putting important new information to the end (end weighting). This is what might happen if we couldn't use the passive:


"This is a picture of Canterbury Cathedral. Augustine founded it in 597 and various people rebuilt it between 1070 and 1077 after a fire destroyed it in 1067, the year after William of Normandy conquered England. Builders greatly enlarged the east end of the cathedral at the beginning of the twelfth century, and others largely rebuilt it in the Gothic style following another fire in 1174.

The cathedral is especially famous for the story of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who two knights murdered in the cathedral in 1170. Pilgrims used to visit his shrine, which builders placed in the Trinity Chapel, above his grave. Somebody removed the shrine in 1538, when Henry VIII summoned the dead saint to court to face charges of treason. Having failed to appear, they found him guilty in his absence and they confiscated the treasures of his shrine , and carried them away in two coffers and twenty-six carts"

(Adapted from Wikipedia with all passive verbs changed to active. - check the original to see how useful the passive is) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canterbury_Cathedral


Here are some non-formal (and easy to understand, plain English) examples of the passive (from a blog post I wrote some time ago):

Apparently he was born in Hungary.
They were married in the local church.
It's supposed to be a genuine Rolex, but I have my doubts.
Do you know his first book was published when he was only 15. Amazing!
Peter's flight has been delayed because of some strike or other.
It's a shame the youth club was so badly damaged in last year's fire.
We came by bus because the car's being serviced today.
The report? The final version is being typed up as we speak.
He was had up for speeding twice last year.

And some even less formal examples:

Three quid for a coffee! You've been done there, mate!
Would you believe it! I've just been given the heave-ho. Again!
Late again! You're fired!
I've had enough of being screwed around like this.
Some ref he is! We were robbed!
Don't tell me you fell for that email scam. You're so easily had!
I've been tweeted three times this week. And 'liked' on Facebook.
Like I was so not taken in by his smarmy charm!
So I use the Passive sometimes! Am I bothered?

And then there's the 'get' passive:

She got caught cheating.
We got soaked in the rain yesterday.
He got arrested for fraud.

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Comment on What’s happening to the Passive? by AmberC http://painintheenglish.com/case/5302/#comment-26066 AmberC Mon, 1 Sep 2014 07:08:06 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5302/#comment-26066 In the UK there is a Plain English Campaign (www.plainenglish.co.uk/) which promotes the use of plain English, as opposed to awkward, long, inefficient or jargon-filled sentences that are difficult to understand, in public communications. Many public organisations such as local government and councils have adopted Plain English for their public and internal communications. Some private enterprises have also followed suit. One of the outcomes is that they avoid the passive tense where possible as the active tone is easier to understand and also makes the communication more immediately relevant. So, that could partly explain why the passive tense is not used as much in official communications.

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26065 jayles the unwoven Sun, 31 Aug 2014 20:03:59 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26065 @WW well-done! It is of necessity long and detailed because the usage is

Whilst Euro-languages are often similar to English, a common error for Chinese speakers is to insert "but" at the start of the main clause (where we might insert "still" somewhere).

http://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/%22Although%22_with_%22suiran%22_and_%22danshi%22


I might also confess my French doesn't run to "quoique+subj" either!

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26064 Warsaw Will Sun, 31 Aug 2014 07:24:47 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26064 @jayles - I've finally finished my (rather long and detailed) take on 'while' and 'whereas', and concession in general:

http://random-idea-english.blogspot.com/2014/08/exploring-concession-and-contrast.html

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Comment on On Tomorrow by Perplexed Dallas http://painintheenglish.com/case/3919/#comment-26063 Perplexed Dallas Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:45:58 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/3919/#comment-26063 I have lived in Texas for 38 years, about half of that time in South Texas and half in Dallas. It's been only during the past several years that I have been hearing/reading "on" attached to "yesterday", "today", "tomorrow", "last month", "next week", etc. It seems to be only African-American individuals, regardless of educational level, who present this usage. I am annoyed by what I consider poor use of the English language and wonder why some people resort to it.

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Comment on P & K by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/182/#comment-26062 jayles the unwoven Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:20:24 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/182/#comment-26062 @red Unfortunately you are a thousand years too late my friend. In those days English was pronounced pretty much as spelt; however around the time when printing began, spellings fossilized but pronunciation continued to change. So today's spellings of older English words usually reflect an older pronunciation.

As for foreign words brought into in English, we tend to keep the foreign spelling too, although again we pronounce them our way.

Oddly, the spelling of pronunciation and pronounce do in fact reflect current pronunciation.
Spellings of words derived from Latin tend to vary according to whether they came via French or were borrowed direct.

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Comment on P & K by red!john http://painintheenglish.com/case/182/#comment-26061 red!john Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:49:33 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/182/#comment-26061 As a German native speaker I have always wondered about the English pronunciation with its many silent “ps”, “ks” and “cs” like in psychology, knight and science. Germans usually have no problems with pronouncing (by the way, why is it spelled “pronUnciation” but “pronOUncing”?) this couples of consonants after another. While it is really hard for us to get rid of our habit of pronunciation, it leads to amusement on the side of English speakers (and especially my girlfriend) every time.

So I wondered if anybody can tell me if pronouncing the consonants our loud is legit in any case (lieke a dialect or social circle, etc.), so I would be able to refer to this special case to have a legitimation of my flaw.

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Comment on P & K by red!john http://painintheenglish.com/case/182/#comment-26060 red!john Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:49:32 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/182/#comment-26060 As a German native speaker I have always wondered about the English pronunciation with its many silent “ps”, “ks” and “cs” like in psychology, knight and science. Germans usually have no problems with pronouncing (by the way, why is it spelled “pronUnciation” but “pronOUncing”?) this couples of consonants after another. While it is really hard for us to get rid of our habit of pronunciation, it leads to amusement on the side of English speakers (and especially my girlfriend) every time.

So I wondered if anybody can tell me if pronouncing the consonants our loud is legit in any case (lieke a dialect or social circle, etc.), so I would be able to refer to this special case to have a legitimation of my flaw.

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26059 jayles the unwoven Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:31:38 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26059 @WW Thanks, that's better.
An "A" pass in CAE was/is equivalent to "C" in CPE (and FCE-A = CAE-C), but I haven't checked this recently.
Indeed parts of CAE are very useful for IELTS too.

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26058 Warsaw Will Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:37:01 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26058 Yes, I'd go along with your first paragraph. I think the 'inasmuch as' meaning of 'whereas' is specific to legal English, and I've ignored it. It seems that 'whereas' is the most restricted, and should always express some sort of contrast, but that can sometimes include an element of concession:

'Whereas the city spent over $1 billion on its museums and stadium, it failed to look after its schools. ' - A city that spends a lot on its museums might be expected to look after its schools

My info about exams is slightly different:

CEF C1, CAE, IELTS 7.5
CEF C2, CPE, IELTS 9

Another way to look at it: Cambridge say that 'Holders of Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
display similar language ability to candidates who have an IELTS score of 6.5 to 8.0, and they give these equivalents for CAE (not CPE)

IELTS
7.0 - 67% - Grade C
7.5 - 74% - Grade B
8.0 - 80% - Grade A
8.5 - 87%
9.0 - 93%

http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/28894-cae-comparing-scores.pdf

And Academic IELTS is only 'Academic' in two of the papers, Reading and Writing. I don't think Speaking and Listening are that dissimilar from CAE and CPE. And now that CAE is amalgamating Use of English with Reading, I think they'll be even closer. I'm using IELTS materials with some students, and I don't see a huge difference.

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Comment on Can every letter be used as a silent letter? by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/4441/#comment-26057 Warsaw Will Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:04:33 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/4441/#comment-26057 You were doing so well until you got to Q - Colquhoun Ok, but Mosquito and Tequila? I don't think a K sound quite counts as silent. But you know what they say about pride!

As for your Vs, do family names (however noble) and Slavic first names really count?

And if you can count Milngavie, we could probably do the whole alphabet with Scottish place names (I know, double consonants and dipthongs probably don't count):

A - RaAsay, BreAkish, MurrAyfield, AVoch ( /ˈɔːx/ - Highland)
B - St Combs (Fraserburgh), TomB of the Eagles (Orkney), LamB Island (Forth)
C - GreenoCk, BuCkie, LossiEmouth, WiCk, BallaChulish (pronounced h, not Scottish ch)
CK - CoCKburnspath
D - FinDochty (/ˈfɪnɛxti/), KirKcuDbriGHT ( /kərˈkuːbri/)
E - IrvinE, KintyrE, PeeblEs, DrymEn, FrEuchie
F - MacdufF, CriefF, HaLFpenny cottage (Invermoriston), Ha'penny bridge, Kelvin (cheating)
G - ?
GH - Bight of Mousland (Orkney), Broughty Ferry, GiGHa ( /ˈɡiːə/)
H -EaglesHam, Lairig GHru, Orchid Place (Uddingston)
I - EdInburgh (local pronunciation - Ed'nbru), GlamIs, InglIston, EIlEan Donan, PennycuIck
J - ?
K - KirKcuDbriGHT ( /kərˈkuːbri/)
L - KirkcaLdy, ( /kərˈkɔːdi/), KilmalcoLm, PetercuLter, GlenaLmond, KilmalcoLm, TillicouLtry
M - KildrumMy
N - KilNcadzow ( /kɪlˈkeɪɡeɪ/), MilNgaVie ( /məlˈɡaɪ/)
O - Castle DOuglas, CarnOustie
P - CamPbeltown
Q - CoLQUhoun Park (Bearsden) (thanks for that one)
R - CambusbarRon, RAVenstruTHER (/ˈrɛnstri/) - otherwise Rs very much not silent in Scottish
S - WemysS, ISle of Skye, ISlay, hundreds of iSlands
T - ShotTs, Port CharlotTe
TH - StraTHaven ( /ˈstreɪvən/ ), MeTHven, RuthVen ( /ˈrɪvən/)
U - GlenmUick
V - MilNgaVie ( /məlˈɡaɪ/), AVoch ( /ˈɔːx/ Highland), RAVenstruTHER (/ˈrɛnstri/)
W - HaWick (/ˈhɔɪk/)
X -
Y - WemYsS Bay (/ˈwiːmz/), ISlaY ( /ˈaɪlə/)
Z - Culzean, Dalrulzian

Well, near as damn it.

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Comment on Can every letter be used as a silent letter? by 1Goosequillian http://painintheenglish.com/case/4441/#comment-26056 1Goosequillian Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:30:42 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/4441/#comment-26056 With all due respect, this is quite pathetic. It has been four years and you lot have not even been able to write down a full list with each of the silent letters. AYE, silent letters may occur literally from A to Z, ye have been just too clumsy to prove the theory.

A - bargAin, heAlth, dictionAry (British English), practicALly
B - bomB, deBt
C - indiCt, viCtUals, sCissors
CH - yaCHt
D - WeDnesday, hanDsome, anD (unaccented), WinDsor, briDge
DH - ceiliDH
E- Europe, bluE
F - haLFpenny (also written as ha'penny)
G - siGn
GH - liGHT
GN - GNash
H - Hour, JoHn, wHale
I - fruit, said, air
J - mariJuana, Don Juan, riJsttafel
K - Kneel, blaCKguard
L - taLk, aLmond, Sherlock HoLmes
M - Mnemonic, Mnemonics, Mnemonise
N - solemN, soi-disant
O - jeOpardy, peOple, chocOlate
P - Psychoogy, Ptolemy, receiPt, couP, toPgallant
Q - mosQUito, Tequila, CoLQUhoun
R - , foyeR, bustieR, atelieR, hotelieR, sommelieR, foRecAsTle (sailor's use = fo'c'sle)
S - iSle,debriS
T - lisTen, mustn't, asTHma, sacheT,
U - bUild, tongUE, beautifULly
V - fiVEpence (= fippence), MilNgaVie,DaVEntry,LeVeson-Gower, Vsevolod
W - ansWer, Wrist, GreenQich
X - fauX paS, billet-douX, SiouX, BordeauX
Y - praYer, maYor, saYs, Samuel PepYs
Z - rendeZvous, laisseZ-faire, cheZ

There, I won and I didn't even break sweat. Those of you who say foreign words are not allowed: are you brainless? English has been forged from many a tongue, moreover this is the very reason why it has manifold spelling in the first place! O, poverty in wit! Anywise it be, I hereby accept the gold medal.

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26055 jayles the unwoven Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:33:14 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26055 So, as a rule of thumb, we can safely use "whereas/while" to begin a trailing contrast clause;
and "while" at the beginning of a sentence instead of "although".

But "whereas" at the start of a sentence might signal contrast, concession, or something like "inasmuch as".

CPE pass is about IELTS 7.5 : an A-pass would be more 8.5.
However CPE is much broader in scope, in terms of genre and register: the focus of academic IELTS is much narrower, so not a true equivalent.

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Comment on One Love by ccurtissdean http://painintheenglish.com/case/308/#comment-26054 ccurtissdean Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:19:04 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/308/#comment-26054 Bob Marley used words as if he was writing and singing a gospel hymn!! How can he write and sing about praising the Lord, about worshiping the Lord of Creation and about Hopeless Sinners unless he believed that. Some can say he was not a 'Christian' but so what. Jesus never used the word 'Christian' as if those who accepted him should have a group name. He brought what the Father desired, to redeem all people who make the choice to accept that he sent Jesus to give us compete forgiveness and allow us access to the Heavenly Father and His Kingdom. If anyone acknowledges who Jesus was they will be in Heaven when they die. One can disagree with that but look at what the Bible clearly says ... and I say "Praise the Lord for that!!" Bob Marley's songs talk about that and the ONE LOVE of the Father. He doesn't mix words!!

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26053 Warsaw Will Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:42:27 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26053 At last I've found at least one source that suggests that 'while' can be used in either position for contrast, but only in first position when used concessively : the OALD:

used to contrast two things
While Tom's very good at science, his brother is absolutely hopeless.
Some people work better to music while others do not.

(used at the beginning of a sentence) although; despite the fact that…
While I am willing to help, I do not have much time available.

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26052 Warsaw Will Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:12:53 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26052 So it didn't really work - but you can get the gist - Contrast in first position - Dictionaries 2, The Guardian 6, The Telegraph 0 etc

So for example, at the Guardian there were 31 definite contrasts, 26 of them in 'trailing' clauses, as opposed to 8 ambiguous, all in leading position, and 5 definite concessives, 4 of them in leading position.

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26051 Warsaw Will Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:06:26 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26051 OK, thanks. As I understand it, IELTS Level 7 is about the same as CAE, so 8.5 must be pretty well Proficiency.

Incidentally, although there's quite a bit on while / whereas in Quirk et al - The Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, I can't find anything on order - leading or trailing. Nor is there anything in the more recent Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, Hiuddleston, Pullum et al. And these are THE two most important reference grammars of the last half century or so.

However I did a bit of research on 'whereas' myself and came up with the following. With the ambiguous ones I lean more towards concession. What seems clear is that whereas is used more for direct contrast than concession, usually comparing the same feature of two different people, things or situations, etc: 'Italy is in the south of Europe whereas Sweden is in the north'. In this meaning it usually starts the second clause, whereas when it is used to signify concession, the concession clause usually comes first. The reason more examples are from the Guardian is simply that it has no limits; I now have to wait a month before I can look at anything at the Telegraph! I hope this table works.


Dictionaries Guardian Telegraph
Contrast 1st 2 6 0
Contrast 2nd 14 25 11

Ambiguous 1st 13 8 2
Ambiguous 2nd 1 0 1

Concessive 1st 1 4 0
Concessive 2nd 1 1 0

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26050 jayles the unwoven Sun, 17 Aug 2014 15:45:38 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26050 Perhaps I should add: typical requirement to work as a nurse, doctor, pharmacist, radiographer, engineer, teacher , and other professionals is IELTS 7.5, mininum 7.0 in any one exam. Big accounting firms require IELTS 8.0 minimum.
Writing is often a huge barrier - I have had students with Reading / Listening /Speaking 8.5+ and writing 6.5, thus unable to register with their professional body and get a job.
Hence the enormous pressure to score high on writing and the need to produce accurate , complex sentences at speed which include "whereas/while/whilst/although/inasmuch as/ in that/even though/ much as", rather than "and/but/so".

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26049 jayles the unwoven Sun, 17 Aug 2014 15:26:11 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26049 @WW Apologies, local jargon I guess.

By "trailing contrast clauses" I meant sentences with while/whereas between two clauses:
Roses are red, whereas violets are blue.

EAP = English for Academic Purposes eg www.oup.com.au/elt/skills2/key_to_eap

http://www.ieltsessentials.com/PDF/Writing%20Band%20descriptors%20Task%201%20and%202.pdf

IELTS writing is marked into 0-9 bands but the assessment is scored on four criteria (which are then averaged)

Task achievement/Task response (TR/TA)
Coherence and Cohesion (CC)
Lexical Resource (LR)
GRA = Grammar Range and Accuracy

I was referring to GRA Band 8 :
"uses a wide range of structures
the majority of sentences are error-free"

Band 7:
"uses a variety of complex structures
produces frequent error-free sentences"

Band 6:
"uses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms"

Band 5:
"uses only a limited range of structures
attempts complex sentences but these tend to be less accurate than simple sentences"

The point here is that simple sentences are not mentioned above band 6, suggesting that one should make all sentences complex to score band 7 and above.

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Comment on Plaque for family home by providencejim http://painintheenglish.com/case/5288/#comment-26048 providencejim Sun, 17 Aug 2014 00:35:53 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5288/#comment-26048 As a North American I concur with Warsaw Will's response. I also have to admit that sadly in this country one often sees signs, usually for seasonal residences (cottages, camps, cabins), indicating that "The Smith's" or "The Adams'" abide there. I've never understood this misplaced affection for the apostrophe.

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26047 Warsaw Will Sat, 16 Aug 2014 17:09:12 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26047 @jayles - sorry, you've lost me there. What are EAP and GRA? And trailing (contrast) clauses? I've tried googling all three, but without any success.

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Comment on “This is she” vs. “This is her” by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/811/#comment-26046 Warsaw Will Fri, 15 Aug 2014 06:03:31 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/811/#comment-26046 A bit off topic, but never mind. The literal translation of 'soy yo' may well be 'I am I', but that is meaningless in English and an idiomatic translation would be something more like 'it's me'. From various songs, with my efforts at translation:

Soy yo quien mira la lluvia - It's me who's looking at the rain / I'm the one looking at the rain
Alguien te amó y alguien soy yo - Someone loved you and that someone is me.
Y esta soy yo - And this is me
Soy yo, te lo digo a ti. - It's me, I'm telling you

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Comment on “This is she” vs. “This is her” by CP9 http://painintheenglish.com/case/811/#comment-26045 CP9 Thu, 14 Aug 2014 18:04:23 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/811/#comment-26045 In Spanish, "soy yo" does not mean "I am me." It means "I am I." The translation for "I am me" is "soy mi," which is grammatically incorrect under Spanish grammar.

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26044 jayles the unwoven Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:19:22 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26044 @WW Yes they do act more like coordinators in trailing contrast clauses cf Hewins unit 82

Of course this stuff is sine qua non for EAP/IELTS , esp as IELTS marking schema says "uses a variety of complex sentences" (GRA level 7) above "uses a mix of simple and complex sentences" (GRA level 6), which prima facie implies one should not include any simple sentence at all.

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26043 Warsaw Will Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:04:37 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26043 @jayles - and I thank you. Sometime ago I started a post on contrast and concession. This might just goad me into doing a bit more research and finishing it.

Just a thought, but it occurs to me that while and whereas are acting as subordinators in concession clauses, but are more like coordinators in contrast clauses.

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26042 jayles the unwoven Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:42:57 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26042 @WW Thanks. I think I've got the weft of it now.

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26041 Warsaw Will Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:16:17 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26041 Let's agree on that. I've looked at example sentences from a dozen or so dictionaries, and I can't find much in the way of 'whereas' with a concessionary meaning starting a main clause either, although there are a couple of possibilities. Here are my suggested meanings:

1. whereas starting the second clause

= but/on the other hand:
Some of the studies show positive results, whereas others do not.
Nanjing has also in the past been the capital of China, whereas now Beijing has that role.
I like to go swimming whereas Sheila likes to sail.

=while on the contrary:
Doctors' salaries have risen substantially, whereas nurses' pay has actually fallen.
The old system was fairly complicated whereas the new system is really very simple.
You eat a massive plate of food for lunch, whereas I have just a sandwich.
Alma was always nice to people on the phone, whereas Kevin could be cheerfully impatient.
you treat the matter lightly, whereas I myself was never more serious
She's the one who is moving on whereas her parents are stuck with the story, are stuck in the past.
Negligence depends on a breach of duty, whereas contributory negligence does not.
One came forward immediately, whereas the others hung back.

=while:
Thus Mr Smith is now the respondent to this appeal, whereas Mr Clark was the claimant below.
He lived through his era, whereas so many of his friends died in racing accidents.


=although (?) / while on the contrary:
The desks have damaged the walls, whereas a more appropriate choice could have prevented such damage.

=although?/while:
We thought she was arrogant, whereas in fact she was just very shy.

2. whereas starting the first clause:

= although
Whereas knowledge can be acquired from books, skills must be learned through practice.
Whereas the city spent over $1 billion on its museums and stadium, it failed to look after its schools.

So in the dictionary examples, whereas seems to more commonly start the second clause, but with usually a meaning of simple contrast rather than concession. I don't think concession impossible, but it seems quite rare.

The Teacher's Grammar of English has the first (concession) clause starting with while or whereas, but nothing about the main clause. So until I can find where it was that suggested that whereas could start the main clause with the meaning of concession, I'll more or less go along with your idea that it works like while. In other words that they can both start the first clause, for both contrast or concession, but they usually only have the meaning of contrast when starting the main clause (I still think that Loch Ness example is OK - but it's hard to find evidence):

http://books.google.pl/books?id=WCCk829jmzUC&pg=PA555&lpg=PA555&dq=whereas+concession+efl&source=bl&ots=iILWz8jBgq&sig=dCIqbSKiuAObMWgWq9sXweyqeDg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DffoU9vbJoSc0QXN-oCQDQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=whereas%20concession%20efl&f=false

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26040 jayles the unwoven Sun, 10 Aug 2014 19:41:59 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26040 I must be thick or something but I'm having trouble getting example sentences where "whereas" corresponds to "although".

As in:

"Many people believe in the Loch Ness Monster, whereas it is probably a myth."

Well that just doesn't work for me I'm afraid.

I do agree that "whereas" roughly means "but" here. However "but" joins two ideas of roughly equal note or weight - it's a 50/50 weighting between each clause.

"Although" is different in so far as the writer acknowledges the idea in the "although" clause, but considers the main idea (in the main clause) of overriding weight - a 20/80 or 80/20 situation depending on clause order.

I just can't get "whereas" to do that where it trails the main clause.

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Comment on attorneys general vs. attorney generals by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/4680/#comment-26039 Warsaw Will Sat, 9 Aug 2014 20:05:32 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/4680/#comment-26039 @Hairy - I've only just seen your comment, and sorry, only three years late, but I have to disagree - It's major generals, not majors general, and general is a noun here, it's not an adjective - if anything it's major that is (a noun) acting as an adjective. Like a lieutenant general or a brigadier general, a major general is a class of general, so it's general that takes the plural.

"The four will be commissioned as Army major generals for an approximate two-year term while serving intermittently in this role." - Oxford Online

"Cromwell's Major-Generals: Godly Government During the English Revolution" - Christopher Durston

On the other hand, an attorney general is a grade of attorney, just as an adjutant general is a grade of adjutant. In these cases 'general' is indeed an adjective. So here it's the first word that takes the plural:

"These guidelines explain the general enforcement policy of the state and territorial attorneys general who comprise the National Association of Attorneys General. " - State antitrust practice and statutes

"that all the other adjutants general shall have the brevet" - US Congress 1839

It's easiest to see when you compare a major general and a sergeant major. The first is a kind of general (not a kind of major) and so it's general that is pluralised. The latter is a type of sergeant (also not a kind of major), so it's sergeant that takes the plural s. Major generals, but sergeants major.

"Uncommon Men: The Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps" - John C. Chapin - 2007
"United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, Fort Bliss, Texas"

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26038 jayles the unwoven Sat, 9 Aug 2014 19:47:34 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26038 @WW damn! I thought I had this all sussed.

So you mean it's not my fault she put on weight? ;=)))

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26037 Warsaw Will Sat, 9 Aug 2014 19:34:03 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26037 @jayles:

I don't quite agree:

1. Not necessarily - "While roses are red, violets are blue" expresses a simple contrast, and could just as well be written "Roses are red, but violets are blue." There is no necessary idea of concession here that needs 'although'. But 'whereas' would fit.

"While my neighbour has a red car, I have a blue one" - 'Although' would be strange here, as just because my neighbour has a red car, there is no reason to expect that I would have a blue one too. So there is no element of expectations not being met, and so none of concession. A better comparison would be with "one the one hand ..., on the other ..." or a simple "but". Again 'whereas' would also fit. On the other hand, "My neighbour has a red car, while I have a blue one" is probably a more common construction (see dictionary examples below).

But:

"While we usually buy red cars, this time we've gone for a purple one" does express concession, and both 'although' and 'whereas'would fit here.

But I see now that you're discounting this type from 'best usage', although I'm not quite sure why. This is from Practical English Usage:

"While/whereas some languages have 30 or more different vowel sounds, others have five or less".

One thing however. When 'while' expresses simple contrast rather than concession, it does seem to come more often at the beginning of the second clause, at least if dictionary examples are anything to go by:

"Spain is increasing the size of its fishing fleet while ours is contracting." - Oxford Online
"He likes camping, while she prefers sailing." - Chambers
"The south of the country grows richer, while the north grows poorer." - Macmillan
"Schools in the north tend to be better equipped, while those in the south are relatively poor." - Longman
"Some people work better to music while others do not." - OALD
"He gets £50,000 a year while I get a meagre £20,000!" - Cambridge

Interestingly, Cambridge has three entries for 'while' as a conjunction: the usual time meaning, contrast (="but)", and concession (="although"). And in all those examples, 'while' could be replaced by 'but'. So I'm not sure why you discount f and g, as this seems to be the most common way of using 'while' to express contrast.


2. Granted

3. Granted - but that is simply my hunch.

4. I'm afraid I don't see much difference between 'where' and 'whereas' in clauses of contrast or concession, except for the proviso that 'where' is not used to start the second clause when expressing concession, and that 'whereas' is more formal.

5. No. 'Whereas' can come in the middle of a sentence to indicate concession, not only contrast.

"Some of the studies show positive results, whereas others do not." (OALD) - contrast = 'but'

"We thought she was arrogant, whereas in fact she was just very shy." (OALD) - concession = 'although'


I'm sure there are lots of women whose husbands love them who nevertheless put on weight. Concession suggests that the second fact should come as something of a surprise, given the earlier information - I just don't see that direct correlation between being loved and putting on weight. Sorry. But I'm not married, so perhaps I'm missing something.

As for 'best usage' I'm not so sure. I think it's more likely a matter of personal preference and perhaps of register, especially in the case of 'whereas'. But, as Garner points out, you have to be a bit careful with 'while' that it does not get confused with a temporal meaning, giving the example:

"Len Hickman delivered the opening statement, while Jim Bethell made the closing statement".

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by jayles the unwoven http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26036 jayles the unwoven Sat, 9 Aug 2014 16:35:12 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26036 @WW Whilst understanding your comments (and indeed I would have agreed wholeheartedly a few months ago), now I am not so sure. It is simply a matter of "best usage" rather than a near miss.

The following guidelines are for consideration:

1) "While" coming first in the sentence means "although".

2) "While" coming after the main clause signifies contrast.

3) "While" for contrast is better used when the contrasted item(s) is the same or closely related.

4) "Whereas" at the beginning of a sentence means "inasmuch as", or "Forasmuch as" ie the meaning in legal documents.

5) "Whereas" in the middle of a sentence betokens contrast and is better used where the item(s) contrasted are disparate.

All of which is hard to prove/disprove either way: hence the question.

Applying the above, only c,d,e,h,j,k,l represent best usage.

So loving your wife won't keep her weight down? Wow, news to me!

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Comment on attorneys general vs. attorney generals by Greg Robert http://painintheenglish.com/case/4680/#comment-26035 Greg Robert Sat, 9 Aug 2014 10:37:35 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/4680/#comment-26035 So it's a bit like adding a comma: Attorneys, General.

With the class first and the subclass second, as in:

Meals, Ready to Eat

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Comment on attorneys general vs. attorney generals by Greg Robert http://painintheenglish.com/case/4680/#comment-26034 Greg Robert Sat, 9 Aug 2014 10:36:54 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/4680/#comment-26034 So it's a bit like adding a comma: Attorneys, General.

With the class first and the subclass second, as in:

Meals, Ready to Eat

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Comment on While vs Whilst vs Whereas by Warsaw Will http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26033 Warsaw Will Sat, 9 Aug 2014 09:29:24 +0000 http://painintheenglish.com/case/5304/#comment-26033 As regards 'whilst', in British English it is just a substitute for 'while', so is always possible instead of 'while', although sometimes seen as a bit formal or literary. It is hardly ever used, however, in American English.

As far as I can see, sentences a-i are fine. Here 'while' is used to express a simple contrast between two things - roses are red and violets are blue. When we are talking about simple contrast, either clause can begin with 'while' or 'whereas'.

Sentences j, k and l are about concession rather than simple contrast, and here we can only use 'while' at the beginning of the first clause (although 'whereas' can still be used in both positions), which is what you've in fact done. And although I'd probably use 'although', I think k, at least, is grammatical. I do have a logical problem with j and l, however.

j (l)- While (Whilst) I loved my first wife very much, she did in fact become fat. - I don't see the connection here - her becoming fat has nothing to do with my loving her - there is no concession that I can see.

On the other hand, put the other way round, as in k, the result is more logical.

I think we are more likely to use 'while/whereas' for concession when the two points are more closely related than in your example, although I can find nothing in usage books to back up that hunch:

"While/Whereas the Loch Ness Monster is probably a myth, many people believe in it."
"Although my wife became rather fat, I love her all the same."

And then of course there are also 'despite' and 'in spite of', when the grammatical construction is appropriate.

In A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, Bryan Garner reckons 'while' a more 'relaxed and conversational term than "although" or "whereas" ', but thinks it's fine in formal contexts as well.

http://books.google.pl/books?id=35dZpfMmxqsC&pg=PA931&dq=although+while+concession+garner&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1iDmU7iNCMeYO42bgNgK&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=although%20while%20concession%20garner&f=false

'Although, though', are by far the more common ways of expressing concession, with 'even though' also apparently beating 'while'.

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=Although+he+loved+her%2CThough+he+loved+her%2CEven+though+he+loved+her%2CWhile+he+loved+her%2CWhereas+he+loved+her&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CAlthough%20he%20loved%20her%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CThough%20he%20loved%20her%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CEven%20though%20he%20loved%20her%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CWhile%20he%20loved%20her%3B%2Cc0

And this is even when 'while' includes examples meaning 'at the same time as', in these for example, where I don't think 'although' would work:

"She'd lied, she'd cheated, while he loved her with all his heart."

"While he loved her, there was no hope of loving anyone else"


Some examples from the first page of Google Books, where I think 'although' could be substituted for 'while' with no change in meaning, but where there is a strong relationship between the two statements:


"she wanted children and he didn't, plus, while he loved her, he also loved himself."

"... felt how much she needed him, and, while he loved her, he resented this. "

"Finally, he sat down and told her that, while he loved her deeply and regretted that they would not be able to play on the physical plane any more, he could not have her hanging around his apartment"

"While he loved her a great deal, Jane's husband found her more and more difficult to live"

"he made it clear that while he loved her and was deeply committed to her, he also knew how to get along without her."

"while he loved her dearly, he knew of or at least suspected, most of her problems—real—imagined—or pharmaceutically induced."

Incidentally, there has apparently been some resistance to 'while' being used with a non-temporal sense like this, but I think objections to this are few and far between nowadays. You can read a bit about it at GrammarGirl:

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/although-versus-while

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