What is the difference between the expressions "how about?" and "what about?" -- if there is any at all?
I remember my former English teacher instructing us to use those with caution because of their different meanings.
Being in doubt in a certain case I tried and looked it up. But in search for a reliable explanation smoothing my uncertainty out ... I was quite amazed when I read that according to the Cambridge Online Dictionary (http://dictionary.cambridge.org
), there be no difference between these two expressions, both of which be used to make suggestions.
How/What about (= I suggest) a trip to the zoo/going to the zoo?
In both cases one be asking "What do you say to my suggestion?" or "What do you think of my suggestion?"
Both expressions can also be used to ask for information or news about people and things:
How/What about Jane? (What is the news concerning Jane?)
Thus being left slightly confused, I want to ask the native (and, of course [;-)], the long-term) English speakers for clarification.
Is there really no difference at all?
Or do these expressions represent somewhat different concepts?
Do both of them evoke (or imply) the identical "feeling" (on either side, sender and receiver)?
Or else, in what situation do you prefer which one?
Many thanks for enlightening.