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All About “While”

I’m back from vacation. I whiled away my time in Las Vegas. Came home ahead $200 without gambling.

Now that I’m back, it’s back to work, and immediately I see the word while misused. This is especially true when it’s used this way: “Eddie will entertain youngsters with comedy and magic gags Sept. 13, while balloons and a unicycle are part of Alex’s juggling act on Sept. 20.” (This is from a magazine I edit; I caught the mistake, as you can see.)

While means “at the same time as.” So, in the above example, it’s impossible to use while correctly because things are happening on different days.

While I appreciate the schedule, I don’t like the word being misused.

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August 16, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. Just a gentle and friendly reminder that a good fellow like you, who critiques the wording of other, should at least proofread his critique.
    1. Did you mean “immediately” rather than “immediate”?
    2. Your definition of “while”: at the same time “at” or “as”?
    I really enjoy your articles. Thanks so much!
    Joan Kelly
    Retired high school English, French, Spanish, and English as a Second Language teacher; Pittsburgh, PA.


    Comment by Joan Kelly | August 16, 2016 | Reply

  2. Hi Joan. I always appreciate people who find typos. As you know, self-editing is most difficult, and I do occasionally fail to catch everything. Thanks to people such as you, I can clean things up and have.
    Thanks again. Lee


    Comment by usingtherightwords | August 16, 2016 | Reply

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