Re: will vs. shall

Subject: Re: will vs. shall
From: Michael LaTorra <mikel -at- ACCUGRAPH -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 14:59:38 MDT

Glenn Crumpley asks:

My main objection to "shall" is that I never hear it used in
everyday speech. My dictionary labels it archaic. I don't see the
distinction between saying, "The program shall xxxx..." and "The program
will xxx..." Does anyone know how this usage began or why it persists?

============ REPLY =====================================================

American English-speakers rarely use "shall" these days, but it is
still quite common in British English. Although these two verbs have
come to be nearly synonymous, they are not.

The best example of this precise usage I know was spoken by President
Lyndon B. Johnson when he declined to run again for that office:

"I shall not seek re-election to the office of
president, nor will I run if nominated".

Live long & prosper,
Mike LaTorra

Documentation Supervisor
Accugraph Inc.
mikel -at- huey -dot- accugraph -dot- com

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