Word Abuse: WILL

Over the past four years or so there has been a steady, and therefore disgraceful, decline in the use of the correct future tense, “shall” (negative form: “shan’t”) in favour of its badly-behaved younger brother, “will”.

To reiterate:
We use SHALL and SHAN’T (actually, SHALL NOT) when we want to sound good, clear, elegant, eloquent, pompous, upper-class and highly praiseworthy.

We use WILL and WON’T when we want to sound common as muck dirt.

Now that we have decreed that which is proper, I insincerely hope that you shall learn this rule!   Hmm?

Final wrong word >
Main Word Abuse Menu

See also
– Jack Lynch’s overview of what the words used to mean
David Crystal in English Today in 1986 before the rules changed (PDF)



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