a whisker away / within a whisper of

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KON

Senior Member
Hi everyone,

Can someone please help me with the following query? Is there any difference in the meaning between the following sentences?

1) He took the Blues (Chelsea FC) with in a whisper of winning the title.

2) The Blues were a whisker away from winning the title.


A) The price of oil gets a whisker away from $100.

B) The price of oil is with in a whisper of $100.


Thanks a lot in advance.
 
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  • I think that "whisper" is a mistake in both cases.

    "Whisker" is used because a whisker is very thin. To say that something comes "within a whisker" of something else means that there is less than a whisker's width between them.

    "Whisper", not being physical, cannot means the same.
     

    KON

    Senior Member
    I have been researhing the phrase "with in a whisper of" on the internet and I found an article in the guardian

    "Clinton shows winning way in defeat.... In becoming the first woman to come within a whisper of being a Democratic presidential nominee, she shattered...." (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jun/07/hillaryclinton.barackobama1)

    In the above extract from the article, can you replace "within a whisper" with "within a whisker?"
     
    I have been researhing the phrase "with in a whisper of" on the internet and I found an article in the guardian

    "Clinton shows winning way in defeat.... In becoming the first woman to come within a whisper of being a Democratic presidential nominee, she shattered...." (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jun/07/hillaryclinton.barackobama1)

    In the above extract from the article, can you replace "within a whisper" with "within a whisker?"
    Yes. In fact, I think that "whisper" was mistakenly used there because the two words sound so similar.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If I came across within a whisper of I would understand it as a mistaken whisker unless there was something in the context to make the version with whisper a deliberate play on words.

    In the Guardian quote, I wonder if the writer felt that using within a whisker could seem incongruous when used with reference to a woman almost becoming a presidential candidate. Did he substitute whisper for whisker with the idea that whisper is a more feminine word than whisker?
     
    If I came across within a whisper of I would understand it as a mistaken whisker unless there was something in the context to make the version with whisper a deliberate play on words.

    In the Guardian quote, I wonder if the writer felt that using within a whisker could seem incongruous when used with reference to a woman almost becoming a presidential candidate. Did he substitute whisper for whisker with the idea that whisper is a more feminine word than whisker?
    I'm not sure that "whisker" means a human whisker. It's just a means of measurement. It's far more likely to be a cat's whisker, isn't it?
     
    The problem with "Within a whisper" is that it doesn't have the same obvious meaning as "within a whisker".

    I can understand how "whisker" can be a form of measurement, but not "whisper". The metaphor just doesn't work.

    I think it is for those who use "whisper" to justify its logic, if it has any.
     
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