This is one of the myriad small things I learnt about my language that pleased me.
Often, the words 'will' and 'shall' are used interchangeably, but their meanings are actually entirely different.
"If you let go, I shall drown!"
This is telling us that the hold we have is preventing drowning.
"If you let go, I will drown"
This, perhaps surprisingly, is a threat. That is because the word 'will' is connected to the words 'willful' and 'will-power' and phrases such as 'with a will'. It implies purpose.
The word 'shall' does not imply purpose. The same difference also applies to the words 'would' and 'should'.
"I would love you forever" is a statement of purpose, and thus different to "I should love you forever".
I hope that's of interest to some, as it was to me. It is always a delight to learn a new facet to language, and to realise that it has more powers, even in the simplest of things, than we had perhaps ever realised.
[This message has been edited by Black_Knight (09-08-2003 09:59 PM).]