Wednesday, January 09, 2008

the word "whilst"



is anyone else noticing increased use of the word "whilst" among members of generation y and younger? i find it kind of odd. did primary schools in the late 1990s and early 2000s suddenly decide that the word "while" was vulgar? i've never seen a person over the age of 30 use the word "whilst," and i find its usage rather strange and antiquated. honestly, i never even knew the word was still in use until i saw it appear on internet message boards frequented by early to mid 20-somethings. perhaps old, stuffy british-sounding words are becoming hip?

4 comments:

The Pedant said...

Doesn't "whilst" have something to do with the second person singular?

emily2 said...

not from what i could google. i did, however, find a few pages that indicated that the word "whilst," in america at least, has either gone out of use or is seen as pretentious.

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-whi2.htm

http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/whilst.html

i think the word is making a comeback among the 27-and-under crowd, however.

emily0 said...

Whilst... I use it.

I'm no beacon of linguistic normality, however.

kusala ~ joe said...

I like the word (and have used it and other Britishisms in lame attempts to be witty and pretentious, in informal personal writing only), but I thought it was strictly considered a British/Commonwealth usage at this point.

I haven't started seeing it make a comeback in American writing. Alert us when you see it.