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  1. #1
    Alex Magid
    Guest

    Among or amongst?

    Are these two interchangeable, or are there contexts where you would use one instead of the other. Can anyone help??

    Many thanks.
    Alex



  2. #2
    M. Helene Keough
    Guest

    Re: Among or amongst?

    Webster's Dictionary hands us poetic license by saying: among, ALSO amongst, and by the virtue of the fact that they share the same definition.

    The other side of the coin is, I do find myself preferring one over the other, i.e.: 'The rooster walked among the hens' might be acceptable, but does not have the same ring to my ears as: 'The rooster walked amongst the hens.' Amongst gives the rooster an inflated authority; a bigger word for a fluffed up bird, perhaps? *grin*
    Helene

  3. #3
    Patricia Cooper
    Guest

    Re: Among or amongst?

    I absolutely agree with Helene.

    I prefer amongst; however, it really does depend on the context in which it is used. I think if you need to use 'among' or 'amongst' at the start of a sentence, 'among' sounds better.

    F'rinstance: "Among all the animals in the barnyard, the rooster certainly displayed his authority." -- or whatever.

    There again, I probably wouldn't use 'among' in that sentence anyway!

    patC

  4. #4
    Becky
    Guest

    Re: Among or amongst?

    "Amongst" is a bit antiquated and can add flavor to a sentence, as Helene shows. Wrongly used, though, you can sound ridiculous. If you aren't sure, I would always use "among." You can't be wrong with it.

  5. #5
    Mark Blanchard
    Guest

    Re: Among or amongst?

    'Whilst' I was reading this thread, it occured to me that the usage of one variant sounded more 'british' than the other. I wonder if our UK mates would care to chime in on the debate.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Patricia Cooper
    Guest

    Re: Among or amongst?

    Mark

    I did already.

    I like 'whilst' too. In its proper place of course.

    patC

  7. #7
    M. Helene Keough
    Guest

    Mark, my dear boy.

    I was educated in British schools, in Singapore and Malaysia. (There was a short stint in a private school thrown together in a chillingly air-conditioned room behind the German Consulate once, but I cannot imagine that that shows through in my writing). Perhaps my background would have emerged more clearly if I had used a cock instead of a rooster? (Joke, sweetie) Perhaps I allowed my US half to show through momentarily--my mom's from The States--but we are talking education and not parentage here, so the mention still stands.

    I tend to agree with you though, on the subject of word useage. The British massage words differently. Perhaps it could be better said that certain words would be best utilised by those most comfortable with the placement of such words within a sentence?

    Regards,
    Hel

    PS. I do not think my old-fashioned cock looked out of place amongst the hens. He rathered liked it there, I think. *grin*

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