amid, amidst, among

Amidst (or amid) is often confused with among. The Online Dictionary defines amidst as being in the middle of or surrounded by something, and among as mingling or intermixing with distinct or separate objects.

Examples of amidst/amid:

The exchange swung 400 points amidst a volatile trading day.

She stood singing at the bow of the ship, apparently unaware that they were amid a raging storm and on the verge of sinking.

Example of among:

He walked among the heritage oaks, some of which were over 400 years old, feeling blessed by their presence.

Garbl’s Writing Center has this to say about amid, amidst, among:

Avoid outdated amidst. Try using less formal in or among instead of amid. Use among with plural, countable nouns — among friends, among passengers — and save amid for use with uncountable mass nouns — amid a crowd, amid congestion.

The Chicago Manual of Style also advises against using amidst, opting instead for amid with mass nouns, as in amid talk of war, and asserts that among is used for plurals of count nouns, as in among the children.

For more free writing tips and guidelines, free articles, and a free introductory consultation, visit Treasurefield Communications.

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About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
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