vanish into thin air/ go into ether

Discussion in 'English Only' started by danielxu85, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. danielxu85 Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    To me, "go into ether" means disappear without a trace. However, I don't think I understand the difference between "vanish into thin air" and "go into ether". Are they interchangeable? In the following context, the writer uses "vanish into thin air". I just wonder if it could be replaced by "go into ether".

    Perhaps if we can find helpful teachers and cram schools that cna provide hope for our course of study, the sense of frustration with having to use supplementary education would vanish into thin air.
  2. Siberia

    Siberia Senior Member

    UK-Wales - English
    "Vanish into thin air" I would say is the more common expression. I don't think I've ever heard the other except when I was at the dentist's ages ago.
    Perhaps because "ether" is a very volatile gas/liquid you can get the expression "go off into the ether - in the sense of disappear.
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Vanish into thin air is a very informal expression. I think things also "vanish into the ether" or "disappear into the ether" - in either case, this is also an informal expression. I don't see any material difference between them though perhaps the ether version is a bit more pseudo-scientific.

    Edit: Ether, the chemical compound, got its name because it is extremely volatile. Ether has been used to mean the stuff that fills the empty spaces of the universe for rather longer.
  4. maxiogee Banned

    To vanish into thin air is to disappear from sight - to me. To go into the ether is to leave the earth as radio waves do. There is no such thing as 'the ether' but it is generally understood as referring to 'space'.

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