Friday, November 2, 2007

Using "while" to contrast things

Well, my grammar-minded amigos, I am glad to say that I'm back with some food for thought on the English language.

I've been quite busy trying to employ it in my trade, and have found myself quite lacking in what is needed to succeed.

One vignette worth sharing is the use of the word "while".

I was writing about different things that I discovered in my research, and when I wanted to compare two scenarios, I often would choose to write "while".

To give a mock example:

"While test tube A was blue, test tube B was green."

What I have learned is that this is verboten, as while denotes a chronological perspective.

Thus, one should abstain from "while" when making contrasts. "In contrast" works to replace it, but if the two scenarios are not so opposed to each other, "whereas" will also suffice.

So put the "while" down while you are writing contrasts!!!

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