Re[2]: "Shall" & "Will"

Subject: Re[2]: "Shall" & "Will"
From: Virginia Krenn <asdxvlk -at- OKWAY -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 18:00:50 CDT

I found it of interest that, when I looked up the word, hypotaxis
(from a posting to this list), in The American Heritage Dictionary,
the example they used to explain the word contained "shall".

I then looked up the word, shall, in the same reference and will copy the
definitions and usage information here. But first, I would like to say that
I was taught to use 'shall' for first person and 'will' for second and third
person. Notice, however, that in the first sentence of this paragraph that
I did not do what I was taught.

1. In the first person singular or plural, simple futurity: I shall be
twenty-eight tomorrow.
2. In the second and third persons:
a. Determination or promise: Your service shall be rewarded.
b. Inevitability: That day shall come.
c. Command: Thou shalt not kill.
d. Compulsion, with the force of MUST, in statutes, deeds, and other
legal documents: The penalty shall not exceed two years in prison.
3. In all persons, indefinite futurity, in conditional clauses and in
clauses expressing doubt, anxiety, or desire: If you shall ever change
your opinion, come to me again.

ORIGIN: Germanic "skol-" to be under an obligation

USAGE: In expressly formal usage, shall is employed as indicated above.
In the first person it expresses simple futurity (unstressed intention
or normal expectation); in the second and third persons it expresses any
of the following: determination, promise, obligation, command compulsion,
permission, or inevitability. Will, as an auxiliary verb, is used in the
opposite way: to express simple futurity in the second and third persons
and to indicate one of the other conditions in the first person. However,
these distinctions are not closely observed in general usage, including
much serious writing. On this somewhat lower level, to indicate mere
futurity, will is widely employed in all three persons (and shall is
largely neglected): We will be in London next week (acceptable to 62 %
of the Usage panel as an example in writing on all levels). Will, in all
three persons, is also employed more often than shall in expressing any
of the forms of emphatic futurity. In speech, the degree of stress on the
auxiliary verb is usually more indicative of intended meaning than the
choice of shall or will. In writing, a condition other than mere futurity
is often expressed more clearly by an alternative to shall or will, such
as MUST or HAVE TO (indicating determination, compulsion, or obligation)
or by use of an intensifying word, such as certainly or surely, with shall
or will. Informally contractions such as I'll, we'll, and you'll are
generally employed without distinction between the functions of shall and
will as defined formally.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: "Shall" & "Will"
Author: aragorn -at- mankato -dot- msus -dot- edu at SMTP
Date: 6/6/94 4:14 PM

On Fri, 03 Jun 1994 09:15:00 -0700 (PD, Mike Pope wrote:

>In the US, "shall" is NOT USED. If you doubt this, try to
>find references in any current major US publication illustrating
>the use of "shall".

Rod Bruce replied______

Ask and you shall receive ;-)

I found the following article titles that appeared recently in three
different major US publications.

From _The New York Times_ Oct 3, 1993

"Green shall return, like it or not"

From _Computerworld_ Feb 1, 1993

"She shall overcome" (article about the growing ranks of women in
information systems management)

From _Business Week_ June 28, 1993

"The tiny shall inherit the market: 'subnotebooks' are fast becoming
the hot growth niche in PCs"

I don't know if anyone has brought up Strunk and White in regards to
this thread, but they use the following example to illustrate the

A swimmer in distress cries, "I shall drown; no one will save me!"
A suicide puts it the other way: "I will drown; no one shall save me!"

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