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I had a colleague today point out that the use of well in the following sentence is a typo. I think it makes sense but now I'm second guessing myself. Is this correct? If not, what would be a better way to say this:

Well these rules have been in place for a while, shipping companies and businesses are experiencing delays as a result of incorrectly processed shipments.

If you want the full context of this sentence here it is:

For several months now special restrictions have been in place for exports of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical, and general COVID-19 relief supplies from China. Well these rules have been in place for a while, shipping companies and businesses are experiencing delays as a result of incorrectly processed shipments.

EDIT / UPDATE
I took Jay's advice at first and reworded the sentence into the following:

While these rules have been in place for some time, shipping companies and businesses are experiencing delays as a result of incorrectly processed shipments.

I really like Apple Cola's suggestion though. To help the flow of the sentence, which was brought up by Chronocidal, I added the word "still", replaced "a while" with "some time", replaced "rules" with "restrictions" so it fits into the full context of the paragraph, and removed the "shipping companies" part since I technically only need to mention businesses here. The sentence now reads:

Although these restrictions have been in place for some time [now], businesses are still experiencing delays as a result of incorrectly processed shipments.

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    Well, this isn't you actual question, but should there be another word between "while" and "shipping"? (i.e. "and", or "so", or "but", etc.) I am having trouble parsing the paragraph for meaning. – Chronocidal Jun 17 at 10:24
  • Chronocidal - A few things need to be added to fix the meaning depending on how I reword the start. @Apple Cola made a great suggestion that shows nothing else needs to change but the first word. Take a look at my edit/ update. I think adding a few additional tweaks helps the flow. – Blizzardengle Jun 17 at 15:05
  • Well water is the best water. – Carl Witthoft Jun 18 at 13:31
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I think you mean "while". "While" can be used as a conjunction to mean "even though" or "despite". As in, "While Bob is very tall, he still couldn't reach the top shelf."

Using "while" here creates an awkward sentence because later in the same sentence you use "while" in the idiom "a while", meaning "a long time". I'd recast it using other words, such as "a long time". So, "While these rules have been in practice for a long time, shipping companies are ..." etc.

"Well" can be an interjection indicating surprise, or simply as a kind of vague placeholder to introduce a new thought. "I saw Sally enter the room. Well, Bob was in the room too." As such, it should be followed by a comma. But this use is rarely found in formal speech. Sometimes it is used to indicate that the following thought contradicts what was previously said, somewhat like "but". "Everyone thinks Fred is a nice guy. Well, Mary has said some harsh things about him." But that doesn't seem to fit here.

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    Just for the sake of completeness, could 'although' or 'though' be used instead of 'well', retaining the 'while' later in the sentence? – clabacchio Jun 17 at 6:48
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    @clabacchio Oh, yes, certainly. Good point. It generally makes for an awkward sentence to use the same word twice with two definitions in one sentence. If you find yourself doing that, you can replace either word with a synonym. In this case it's easy enough to replace either word. In some cases there may not be a convenient synonym for one word or the other. – Jay Jun 17 at 13:13
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The sentence is a little off. Here's how you could fix it:

Well, these rules...

Or you could do this instead:

These rules...

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Try using a conjunction instead. For example, you could say:

Although these rules have been in place for a while, shipping companies and businesses are experiencing delays as a result of incorrectly processed shipments.

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    I really liked this suggestion. I combined it with advice from @Chronocidal and I think I have my final sentence now. Thanks for your help! – Blizzardengle Jun 17 at 15:15
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Gut feel for me says that "Well, ..." is usually a spoken rather than a written usage. Feeling is that it is written where the writer is quoting someone who is speaking. The "Well, ..." is usually a clarification of some previous point, statement, etc. where one could make an assumption, conclusion, etc. and clarification is being given to clarify that.

Your rewrites are 'better' than the original.

Might consider breaking it into independent sentences. "These rules have been in place for a while. Shipping companies and businesses are experiencing delays as a result of incorrectly processed shipments." Two different thoughts: 1) Previously existing rules (i.e. not the reason for the delays); 2) Explanation of why the delays are occurring.

Re-Reading the original posting, I am wondering if you need the first thought. Were there rules in place related to the shipping prior to the "For several months now special restrictions ..."? Did the "special restrictions" lead to the "incorrectly processed shipments" or was that occurring all along? Did the "special restrictions" cause 'more incorrectly processed shipments'?

Interesting question, discussion.

Lo

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  • These are new restrictions causing issues for shipping companies that do not understand the new restriction and regulation requirements. Your post makes me think I need to add "now" to clarify this: "Although these restrictions have been in place for some time [now], businesses are still experiencing delays as a result of incorrectly processed shipments." – Blizzardengle Jun 17 at 17:38

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