Though / Although / Despite / In spite of…how do you use these contrast words in English? Read the text about the latest technology in advertising being used in Oxford St., London. Though /although etc are highlighted in bold and then explained in the grammar section after the text
Technology is moving. It is moving so fast that there is now an interactive bus stop advert – just for women! And it is here, right in Oxford Street. The interactive screen aims to show a 40-second advert only to women and girls. Although how can they do that?
Well, there will be a screen with a camera that will measure facial features of the person in front of it and then it will decide whether it is either a man or woman. Once determined that it is a female, it will show the advert. Otherwise, a male would just be directed to a website. Despite the problems this may cause, it guesses correctly 90% of the time.
The advert was placed by the organisation Plan UK, a children’s charity. They want to highlight the huge problem women and girls face in developing countries – things like poverty and discrimination – and not getting the choice to decide how to lead their lives. They have said that men will not get the direct chance to see the advert even though it is in public view, as this is to make them understand about gender discrimination. The interactive ad will be displayed at the bus stop outside Selfridges and will be available for 2 weeks from the 22 February, at a cost £30,000. Although the camera will take your picture, none of the data captured will be stored.
I am always interested in new technological ways of promoting something, especially when it is in the heart of London. I am not sure if this advert is money well-spent though. If it was a big corporate company, I would feel that money isn’t a problem to create an innovative new promotion. In spite of the fact that they are a charity, I feel that the money could have been better spent on the actual children that they are trying to help. A normal poster at that bus stop would have cost 1/10th of that amount. Furthermore, what happens if you are a woman and the advert thinks you are a man? How would that help a young woman’s self-esteem, particularly if she is humiliated in public?
So, what do you think – is the advert a good way of highlighting an issue, despite costing a lot? And what is actually in this 40-second advert? Well, stroll down to Selfridges and take a look for yourself – even though you may not be woman!
Clauses of Contrast
- Use although, though, even though + clause
- Although and even though can be used in the beginning or middle of a sentence
“Although the camera will take your picture, none of the data captured will be stored”
- Even though is stronger than although and expresses a big or surprising contrast
“…men will not get the direct chance to see the advert even though it is in public view”
- Though is more informal and can be used in the middle or at the end of a sentence
“I am not sure if this advert is money well-spent though”
- After in spite of or despite use a noun, verb + ing or the fact that + subject + verb
- “Despite the problems this may cause, it guesses correctly 90% of the time”
- “In spite of the fact that they are a charity, I feel that the money…”
- “…a good way of highlighting an issue, despite costing a lot”
*Do not use of with despite NOT despite of costing a lot