We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Good grammar doesn't reveal your IQ, but it does reveal the quality of your reading and your education - or your absorption therof. So, to refresh my grammar, I shall review "will" and "shall", and you shall listen to me.
The important verb "will" has two conjugations: for plain future, it's "(I or we) shall..." and (You or they) will...". For commands, promises, and assertions, it's the reverse. Simple.
Rubbish. I thought the same a few decades ago. Prescriptive "proper" use is contextual, and is a only cultural marker.
It is a cultural marker I instilled in my own children, mind you, and my usage is is a touch pedantic and archaic even in social situations. But that is only a marker of my training and a communication of a small subset of my values. The proper usage balloon is easily deflated with a few pokes.
Interestingly, I did a post of my own this very month on shall versus will, as the controversy came up at work. http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2008/06/shall-vs-will.html
In brief, the usage in southern England, and hence Oxford and Cambridge, is the reverse of "correct" usage in the rest of the English-speaking world. Which is correct, then?
Lawyers preserve some distinction because it sounds right to them. Translators and technical writers use "shall" for command or intensity.
Assistant Village Idiot
As one well-known Elizabethan poet wrote "if you will not when you can, you shall not when you will, sir." It was spoken by a young woman, during the course of a courtship, if I remember correctly, and I remember it because it was such a great put-down. Wish I could remember which poet it was. I just Googled the phrase and Dr. Google refused to help me.