RSS

Whether or weather?

07 Sep

I have seen several instances of weather being used for whether recently, so it’s worth setting these down just in case.

Weather as a noun is the state of the atmosphere at a certain time and place – sunny, windy, snowing, hot, cold, etc. To weather (the verb) is to change in appearance or form through long exposure to the weather (more commonly: to be weathered).

Under the weather means unwell or depressed – you’re metaphorically under a cloud of unwellness, I suppose!

Whether is a conjunction expressing …

  • a choice between two alternatives – “I can’t decide whether to go to the cinema or the park”
  • a doubt, either expressing a question or investigation – “I don’t know whether keeping this hat I’ve found is the right thing to do” / “He will check whether she lost a hat”
  • an indication that a statement is true, whichever of the alternatives mentioned is the case “I will go to the cinema whether they’re showing a western or a thriller”

Of course, the two can always be found together: “I’ll go out, whether the weather is sunny or wet”, but hopefully you know the difference now!

Edited to add – my friend, Ian Braisby, just reminded me that a wether is a castrated sheep! So now you know …

You can find more troublesome pairs here and the index to them all so far is here.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Errors, Language use, Troublesome pairs, Writing

 

Tags: , , ,

3 responses to “Whether or weather?

  1. Sandy Millin

    September 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Whether the weather is hot,
    Or whether the weather it not,
    I’ll weather the weather,
    Whatever the weather,
    Whether I like it or not.

    Like

     
  2. Judith

    December 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    She worried about whether her wether would weather the weather or whether the wether would die.

    Like

     

I love hearing from my readers - do please leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: