agenbite of "inwhich"

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Thu Aug 25 12:29:07 UTC 2005

From:    Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>

> The "inwhich" phenomenon has been commented on frequently, but in my
> experience it's mainly confined to unpracticed writing of the
> freshman comp sort and is rarely heard in adult speech.

> But few weeks back Mr. Bob Kunst, who looks to be about 50 and is
> President of a group called "Hillary Now," responded as follows to a
> question from Fox News about whether "controversy" might weaken a
> presidential campaign by Mrs. Clinton :

> "We see any controversy as an asset in which we'll be able to get
> more people out to vote."

> He meant "by which."

Re: the first paragraph, i've missed all the previous discussion on "in
which", and as an overeducated nearly-35-year-old, i would simply like
to say, with utter shock and dread in my voice: You mean there's
supposed to be a difference between "in which" and "by which"?!?

I mean, yeah, there's a difference in some contexts, sure, but i see the
two as pretty much absolutely synonymous in Mr. Kunst's line quoted
above. (That's probably why i never noticed the discussion on it before,
i suppose--i didn't see anything of interest in it.)

Seriously, i don't see the difference--what's it "supposed"[1] to be? I
mean, if i were *forced* to draw a distinction, i'd probably have
guessed that "in which" sounds more formal and therefore i'd expect that
one to be the usage manual form. This is apparently not the case.

[1] Yep, the scare-quotes were put in on purpose.

David Bowie                               
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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