Amid and Among

Nice little review from Gary Kinder at Wordrake:

Amid the Soapsuds

A while back, I compared fewer to less (See Tip: “Still Another Three Words Many Writers Misuse”), and we saw that fewer applies only where we can separate things—”countable” things, like trees—and that we use less only where we cannot separate something, like “shade” or “chaos.”

A similar relationship exists between among and amid. The general rule is the same: If we can separate the items, we should use among; if we cannot separate them, we should use amid or maybe another preposition. Bernstein’s bold statement: “Among means in the midst of countable things.” And that’s the end of it. He maintains that if we can’t separate them, we use amid (if you’re American, please don’t write amidst) or another preposition. But Webster’s dictionary of usage calls Bernstein’s statement “nonsense.” You can see why writers are so fragile.

You can read the full article at http://wordrake.com

 

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About datalossguru

I am a data recovery engineer by trade, attorney by license, husband, father and coach by choice.
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