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    #1

    Wheel Around

    "Seagulls wheeled around overhead."
    "Seagulls wheeled overhead."

    Is one of them wrong? Or are they both correct, but very different?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Wheel Around

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaliningrad View Post
    "Seagulls wheeled around overhead."
    "Seagulls wheeled overhead."

    Is one of them wrong? Or are they both correct, but very different?
    They're both OK. They mean the same.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Wheel Around

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaliningrad View Post
    For some reason, I thought around in the original example could mean all over the place, like flying all over the place, instead of denoting movement in a circle.
    It could, but that's how seagulls fly. If they're flying all over the place, then 'wheeling' is wrong.
    If they are 'wheeling', then they are flying around in a circle, more or less, in which case, putting 'around' there is simply a stylistic choice.

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    #4

    Re: Wheel Around

    It sounds odd to me. Birds don't have wheels. I would say they were circling around.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Wheel Around

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    It sounds odd to me. Birds don't have wheels. I would say they were circling around.
    But you don't have to have wheels to wheel . The 'wheel' is a parade-ground manoeuvre, in which soldiers in a line abreast turn, with the outermost ones marching quickly and the innermost ones simply turning on the spot. I'm not sure, though, that how appropriate it is to use this figure of speech with respect to seagulls.

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    #6

    Re: Wheel Around

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaliningrad View Post
    "Seagulls wheeled around overhead."
    "Seagulls wheeled overhead."

    Is one of them wrong? Or are they both correct, but very different?
    Either one is OK and would be understandable, although you might hear "wheeled around" more often, at least in the U.S. In that sense it creates a mental image of the birds circling in the air.

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    #7

    Re: Wheel Around

    I would think of "wheeling around" like cruising in my car.

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    #8

    Re: Wheel Around

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I would think of "wheeling around" like cruising in my car.
    Me too, unless someone introduces seagulls. "Long live poetic license."

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    #9

    Re: Wheel Around

    I have absolutely no problem with the idea of birds wheeling around. I don't think it suggests they are going round in circles - that would be circling. For me, it simply suggests a flock of birds who are flying about within a limited area but without landing and without any particular purpose.

    I consider it to be the same as a group of youths on bicycles loitering around outside a closed shopping mall in the evening (just an example). They ride their bikes randomly, not in a particular direction and with no purpose but, to me, they are "wheeling around".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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