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whensoever vs. whenever

Are “whensoever” and “whenever” really the same? 

In some of the dictionaries I checked, “whensoever” is defined “whenever”; but I disagree.

For instance, I think “The students may leave whenever they so choose” can be written “[...] whensoever they choose” because “so” is already part of “whensoever”.

  • October 2, 2011
  • Posted by sigurd
  • Filed in Usage
  • 1 comment

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I think "whensoever" is archaic and was superceded by "whenever".
The sentence, “The students may leave whenever they so choose” seems rather stilted although it is quite correct..
Most people would say, “The students may leave whenever they choose”
The OED gives "whenever" as a synonym for "whensoever", and the usage examples given are all 19th. century or earlier.
Even merriam-webster lists whenever as a synonym.
However Chambers Online has no entry for "whensoever".

Hairy Scot October 4, 2011, 7:55pm

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