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    #1

    Between vs. Among

    I sometimes have trouble deciding whether to use “between” or “among.” I’ve done some reading on this subject, and below are my comments of four sentences containing those terms. I’d appreciate your feedback!

    1. “Implementing uniform salary caps in each national league might, however, prove to be difficult because of pronounced economic differences between European countries.”

    Based on what I’ve read, “between” should always be used when discussing differences.

    2. “The program was designed to encourage exchanges of athletes between Member States.”

    I guess “among” would be wrong because a one-to-one relationship is at issue: an athlete moving from one country to another.

    3. “This new approach placed emphasis on consultation between the stakeholders.”

    I think “between” is wrong because we’re not dealing with a one-to-one relationship; “stakeholders” as a group are being discussed.

    4. “The rules were designed to maintain a financial and competitive balance between clubs.”

    I think “between” is wrong because the author is not talking about a one-to-one relationship, but a relationship involving all the clubs of a particular league.

    Thanks!

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    #2

    Re: Between vs. Among

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    1. “Implementing uniform salary caps in each national league might, however, prove to be difficult because of pronounced economic differences between European countries.”

    Based on what I’ve read, “between” should always be used when discussing differences.

    2. “The program was designed to encourage exchanges of athletes between Member States.”

    I guess “among” would be wrong because a one-to-one relationship is at issue: an athlete moving from one country to another.

    3. “This new approach placed emphasis on consultation between the stakeholders.”

    I think “between” is wrong because we’re not dealing with a one-to-one relationship; “stakeholders” as a group are being discussed.
    'Between' could be acceptable if you see pairs of stakeholders discussing - a one-to-one situation similar to your sentence #2. 'Among' does not sound right to me. Let's see what others have to say.

    4. “The rules were designed to maintain a financial and competitive balance between clubs.”

    I think “between” is wrong because the author is not talking about a one-to-one relationship, but a relationship involving all the clubs of a particular league. Hmmm. The traditional balance, like the scales of justice, has a dish hanging at each of the two ends of a bar. I think I would avoid 'balance' here, but I can't think of good alternative at the moment.
    I'll think about #3 and #4, and come back later. If somebody else produces an answer first, fine.

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    #3

    Re: Between vs. Among

    "Parity" is the word here used to describe a league's attempt to make sure all of the teams are competitive.

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    #4

    Re: Between vs. Among

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "Parity" is the word here used to describe a league's attempt to make sure all of the teams are competitive.
    I did not write that sentence. What would you say, "between" or "among"?

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    #5

    Re: Between vs. Among

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    I did not write that sentence. What would you say, "between" or "among"?
    "Among" sounds wrong to me. I'd stick with "between". I don't like "balance" either.

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    #6

    Re: Between vs. Among

    How about this sentence?

    "Participating in a group sporting activity brings about a feeling of cohesion and solidarity among the participants."

    I like "among" here.

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    #7

    Re: Between vs. Among

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    How about this sentence?

    "Participating in a group sporting activity brings about a feeling of cohesion and solidarity among the participants."

    I like "among" here.
    I agree.

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    #8

    Re: Between vs. Among

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I'll think about #3 and #4, and come back later. If somebody else produces an answer first, fine.
    3. “This new approach placed emphasis on consultation between the stakeholders.”

    I think “between” is wrong because we’re not dealing with a one-to-one relationship; “stakeholders” as a group are being discussed.
    'Between' could be acceptable if you see pairs of stakeholders discussing - a one-to-one situation similar to your sentence #2. 'Among' does not sound right to me. Let's see what others have to say.

    Do you sense a difference between "consultation" and "discussion" as regards the relationship of the parties? Does "among" sound wrong in this example?

    "As far back as 1991, teacher evaluation criteria has been a topic for discussion among institutions of learning and concerned parents." (Teacher Evaluation Process)

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    #9

    Re: Between vs. Among

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Does "among" sound wrong in this example?

    "As far back as 1991, teacher evaluation criteria has been a topic for discussion among institutions of learning and concerned parents."
    It sound fine there.

    'Between' would suggest that institutions of learning were discussing with concerned parents - i.e, a discussion with two parties.

    As it stands, 'among' suggests that there is also discussion within the group of institutions of learning, within the group of concerned parents, and possibly between these two groups (as groups) and among individual and/or smaller sub-groups of those two groups. This is probably, in my opinion, what was intended.

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    #10

    Re: Between vs. Among

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It sound fine there.

    'Between' would suggest that institutions of learning were discussing with concerned parents - i.e, a discussion with two parties.

    As it stands, 'among' suggests that there is also discussion within the group of institutions of learning, within the group of concerned parents, and possibly between these two groups (as groups) and among individual and/or smaller sub-groups of those two groups. This is probably, in my opinion, what was intended.
    Still not sure I get this.

    "It stimulated more discussion between/among the EU institutions."

    "Between" would suggest that only two institutions at a time were involved in discussions, while "among" would suggest that all the institutions came together to discuss something. Correct?

    "It aimed to strengthen the understanding and solidarity between/among European citizens."

    I would go with "between" here because "understanding" brings to mind a one-to-one relationship. Just an instinctive thing. Could one make a case for both?

    Thanks!

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