I still cringe from hearing anything uttered in French due that perfectly horrible teacher I had back in school..
There is no comparative connotation, at least not in addition to 'while.' Both words have exactly the same meaning. I explained the etymology back on the first page, and technically, 'whilst' is a modification of the adverb form of 'while.' To do something "whilst" is basically equivalent to saying that you're doing it nonchalantly, carefreely, idly. Somewhere along the way, this correct usage was abandoned and the word became equivalent to any form of 'while.'arildno said:But I wonder about the usage of "whilst" in its comparative connotation as well, like:
"I'm tall, whilst my girl-friend is short".
To me, this sounds a bit archaic..
All right; seems I mixed up the linguistic terms here..loseyourname said:There is no comparative connotation, at least not in addition to 'while.'
Cool; I didn't know that.To do something "whilst" is basically equivalent to saying that you're doing it nonchalantly, carefreely, idly. Somewhere along the way, this correct usage was abandoned and the word became equivalent to any form of 'while.'
I meant the technical term "archaic", i.e, sounding old-fashioned, gone out of usage.If you want to be really exacting, both words are archaic, and 'while' might be considered even more archaic, as it's maintained the same meaning since Old English.
Really, my primary objection is that I find the word 'whilst' to be an ugly sounding word, simultaneously baroque and harsh on the pallet. I find 'while' to be far more elegant; in fact, it flows off the end of the tongue. English is not the greatest sounding language to begin with; there's no need to worsen it if you ask me.arildno said:Okay, thanks a lot, loseyourname (and everybody else); it seems I might just as well stick with "while".
That seems safest; as a non-native English speaker, I would blunder constantly if I tried to use 'whilst'.
loseyourname said:English is not the greatest sounding language to begin with; there's no need to worsen it if you ask me.
I guess I've just always been a fan of the latin-derived languages, especially Spanish (real Spanish, not Mexican Spanish) and Italian. I've never really liked the sound of the Germanic languages. They do make great literary languages, though. The multiplicity of meanings and ambiguities of so many of the words, and the free borrowing from other languages (especially in English), along with the heavy use of cognates, can make for very rich prose. A lot of that can be lost in translation. Take a language like Armenian, or the worst of all languages in this regard, Navajo. There is no ambiguity whatsoever in that language - any given sentence means exactly one thing, with no connotation whatsoever beyond the denotation of the words. They literally have several hundred different words for walking, depending on what direction you're facing, your pace, the weather, and every other imaginable variable. Nothing is context dependent - a fiction writer's nightmare. On the other hand, that's what made it the unbreakable code in WWII. Only native speakers could tell what was being said. Regarding Armenian, though, even if I don't think it's the greatest language for literary purposes, I do find the actual sound of it to be absolutely gorgeous, especially the eastern dialect.arildno said:
I love the sound of English, from drawling Texan to Queen's English.
But, it's great to be informed about how certain words 'feels like' for the native speaker; for any language, that is really the major hurdle foreigners have difficulties getting past.
Ahhhh, so that's what you meant when you said:loseyourname said:To the Hombre - Of course 'while' can be used to contrast. What I meant in saying that 'although' or 'yet' would be the more correct words is that they can only be used to contrast.
Gotcha. Um..loseyourname said:'whilst' has no additional connotation that implies the consequent clause is in opposition to the antecedent clause in your sentences
"I am a carnivore while my girlfriend is a vegetarian." No ambiguity, no need for 'on the other hand'. It's a very common use of the word.loseyourname said:Using those words instead of 'while' takes the ambiguity out of the sentence, and gets rid of the need for qualifiers. Take the earlier sentence you posted:
"My twin brother eats donuts for breakfast while I, on the other hand, eat them for lunch."
It is necessary to add in 'on the other hand' because otherwise the sentence is ambiguous.
Of course that could mean you are not a carnivore when your girlfriend isn't a vegetarian. :)"I am a carnivore while my girlfriend is a vegetarian." No ambiguity, no need for 'on the other hand'. It's a very common use of the word.
Exactly. See what I mean about the literary richness of the English language? Almost any sentence can be interpreted in so many ways that often native speakers don't even realize it. The only reason I'm so keen on this stuff is that I'm a writer.Daminc said:Of course that could mean you are not a carnivore when your girlfriend isn't a vegetarian. :)
No point. You write samba, not salmba.The l in salmon tells us how to pronounce the word. If you were to omit it, the word "samon" would be pronounced "same-on."
Nobody is. We're messing with a good language, not with a perfectly good one. Languages that are never messed with do not evolve and there is no good reason to keep a good language from evolving into a better one.Quit messing with a perfectly good language!