Use of the Word Whilst

cristo

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...or do you mean as in "chamber"? :rolleyes:
Nope, clearly I didn't! There's probably a list of rules defining which sounds overule each other. I presume "ch" followed by "a" elongates the sound of "a." Anyway, I'm not a professor of the english language, so can't comment on this. My point is, that the "weird" spellings add to the beauty of the english language.
 
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There's probably a list of rules defining which sounds overule each other.
...or then again, maybe there isn't a rule for everything so you just get used to the sounds as they change over the years.

My point is, that the "weird" spellings add to the beauty of the english language.
Yes, I understand that you like English the way you learned it. I am not debating your personal tastes. But you know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What seems beautiful to one seems defective to another. I find that simplification doesn't usually make things ugly except to those whose tastes are entrenched. Want it or not, English is an evolving language. My point is that evolution towards simplicity is better than evolution towards complexity.
 

cristo

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My point is that evolution towards simplicity is better than evolution towards complexity.
But I'm not saying that there is any evolution towards complexity! Back to the original point that you made: fair enough, if you want to change the spelling of the word salmon, then go ahead, spell it as "sammon," but if you just miss out the l, and write "samon," then this is not evolving the language towards simplicity-- it's making students learn another exception!

This type of evolution of words is pointless; OK, I can see where "color" and "center" come from, since I guess it is easier to spell words how they are sounded, but in these cases it doesn't make a difference to how the word is pronounced. However, in your case it does.

In reality, however, you cannot start taking rules out, and swapping them for others (especially not when they change how a word is pronounced) without changing everything.

For example, in the phonetic language which you seek, how would you deal with the word "chaos"-- would this be re-spelt "kayoss"?
 
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But I'm not saying that there is any evolution towards complexity!
I know you didn't say that, I didn't mean to imply that you did. I just observe that the language changes over the years. Change can make things simpler or more complicated. I favor the former. (There, I've just dropped the 'u' from "favour".)

fair enough, if you want to change the spelling of the word salmon, then go ahead, spell it as "sammon," but if you just miss out the l, and write "samon," then this is not evolving the language towards simplicity-- it's making students learn another exception!
Ok, fair enough as well. "Sammon" still works better than "salmon". I'm not picky about the specifics.

The spelling problem must come from an excess of sounds that must be represented using only five or six vowels. Other languages get around this by adding accents to vowels. Vowels can also be combined to form the appropriate sound. Or you can have complex rules like 'a' before "mb" is pronounced as in "lamb" except after "ch"...

I can see where "color" and "center" come from, since I guess it is easier to spell words how they are sounded
Yes, these are pretty straightforward, and I don't think it makes the language uglier in any way. Eye of the beholder again.

In reality, however, you cannot start taking rules out, and swapping them for others (especially not when they change how a word is pronounced) without changing everything.

For example, in the phonetic language which you seek, how would you deal with the word "chaos"-- would this be re-spelt "kayoss"?
Oh, "chaos" is spelled correctly, it is simply mispronounced. :wink:

I don't claim that representing sounds in written form is trivial. I think languages do not evolve so much in written form but in spoken form instead. Written text simply tries to catch up with what people are saying, and people say the darndest things. Not only is it hard to transfer phonems into written form, but since pronunciation also changes in spoken language you inevitably end up with discrepancies in writing. When you end up with some that are easy to fix (as in "centER") then I see no reason not to do it.
 

cristo

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I know you didn't say that, I didn't mean to imply that you did. I just observe that the language changes over the years. Change can make things simpler or more complicated. I favor the former. (There, I've just dropped the 'u' from "favour".)
Yea, I don't mind that sort of shortening, in fact I write color quite a bit.

The spelling problem must come from an excess of sounds that must be represented using only five or six vowels. Other languages get around this by adding accents to vowels. Vowels can also be combined to form the appropriate sound. Or you can have complex rules like 'a' before "mb" is pronounced as in "lamb" except after "ch"...
That rule is a bit silly, especially as I probably made it up, but you get what I mean. However, I think some of the rules are quite catchy, e.g: "i before e, expect after c, unless pronounced 'ay' as in neighbour or weigh."

Oh, "chaos" is spelled correctly, it is simply mispronounced. :wink:
Ahh, a subtle difference :biggrin:. (There's another word, subtle; I think it looks better this way than suttle). It is, however, amazing how many words have "weird" spellings when one actually thinks about it whilst typing!

I don't claim that representing sounds in written form is trivial. I think languages do not evolve so much in written form but in spoken form instead. Written text simply tries to catch up with what people are saying, and people say the darndest things. Not only is it hard to transfer phonems into written form, but since pronunciation also changes in spoken language you inevitably end up with discrepancies in writing.
You have to be a bit careful here, though. For example, the phrase "I would have" has, by some people, either due to regional dialects or just laziness, been changed to "I would of": probably because the "have" has gone to "'av" which has then beend changed to "of." I've actually read things where the author has written "I would of" (or some variation on the theme.) This is quite a dangerous thing to happen and, of course, the language should not be changed to encorporate this!

However, I realise this last comment is a completely different issue!
 
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That rule is a bit silly, especially as I probably made it up
:rofl:

I think some of the rules are quite catchy, e.g: "i before e, expect after c, unless pronounced 'ay' as in neighbour or weigh."
Who the heck pronounces these words with an 'ay'? :biggrin:

when one actually thinks about it whilst typing!
:rofl: Stop! :rofl:

For example, the phrase "I would have" has, by some people, either due to regional dialects or just laziness, been changed to "I would of": probably because the "have" has gone to "'av" which has then beend changed to "of."
Ahhh... back to serious.

Yes, that can be a mess. We can't "simplify" to the extent that a homonym is used instead of the correct word. Simplify, yes but don't lose the meaning.
 

cristo

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Chi Meson

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That rule is a bit silly, especially as I probably made it up, but you get what I mean. However, I think some of the rules are quite catchy, e.g: "i before e, expect after c, unless pronounced 'ay' as in neighbour or weigh."
I before e,

exception: unless after c,

exceptions: if it not pronounced as "ee"
such as neighbor, or weigh, or forfeit, or sleigh
or stein or heiffer or counterfeit vein,
or freight or height or foreign heir"

Exceptions: friend mischief seize sheik leisure*

*exception : leisure is not the above exception if you're in Britain
 

ngalluccio

I think the British use 'whilst' as a preposition and 'while' for a noun or direct object whilst americans will only use 'while' for both preposition and noun.

British examples: 'he drove whilst talking on his phone.' or ' he called whilst you were out.'

American Examples: 'he drove while he was talking on the phone' or 'he called while you were out.'

it's just ignorance to assume that the use of 'whilst' sounds pretentious, no need to become judgemental. It's simply the way language has evolved in each place. and technically, it's a very apt distinction to make, using two different words for two types of grammatical usage. The Brits are no more pretentious with their language as the Americans are lazy with theirs.
 
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Saying 'Whilst' is pretentious. Linguists say that language is as language does. If enough people use it, then it's in the language irregardless.
 

DaveC426913

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Linguists say that language is as language does. If enough people use it, then it's in the language irregardless.
o gr8 r u serious their goes teh language lol!!!!1
 

cristo

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Saying 'Whilst' is pretentious.
:rolleyes: Hmm, I wouldn't agree.

I was on an American plane and on the back of the seat in front was written the message "Fasten your seatbelt while seated." Now, that annoyed me, as I, and other Brits I've spoken to, would use the word "whilst" in that sentence, as "while" doesn't sound right to me. It's just the fact that we've been brought up using slightly different English, that's all.
 
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Fasten your seatbelt while seated.
This sentence has a couple of problems that can't be fixed by changing while to 'whilst'. Surely I wasn't going to fasten it while standing, nor would I continue to fasten it while (or whilst) I was seated. I should also note that the message to which you responded was and was meant to be ludicrous.
 
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J77

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The OED take it back to 1375:
c1375 Cursor M. 2966 (Fairf.) {Th}e folk ware ful of pride {Th}e quylest he dwelled ham bi-side.
And, in this context, it's "the whilst" -- the time during which.

:tongue:
 
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The OED take it back to 1375
The OED whilst taking whilst back to 1375, takes while back to 1000.

OED said:
a1000 Hymns iii. 44, 5 (Gr.) Hwile mid weorce, hwile
mid worde, hwile mid gethohte thearle scyldi.
which means, translated into American English:
Whilst is worse than while, the word. (using) whilst will get you thoroughly scolded.
 
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J77

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I like the h before the w :cool:

I can see that working :smile:
 
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I can understand why people would think 'whilst' is pompous, pretentious and snobbish in the abstract, but I can't understand why people apply those sentiments to someone who chooses to use that word. I think the context of any word should be garnered from the sentence that supports it in text, or the overall manner of the individual in speech. I think it is pretentious to judge a person without considering their intent or inhibiting their expression by enforcing prejudice on them falsely, especially for something as abstract and comparatively meaningless as the word 'whilst.' I don't consider that alone worthy of ascribing negative attributes to a real person.

I very much enjoy the English language for its ambiguity. It's more of an art than a science. Almost anything can be expressed in English with a specific intention and be perceived by another entirely differently. In order to communicate in English people have to struggle with meaning. I think that lends itself to a greater understanding and appreciation when people communicate successfully in English because it requires effort even from native speakers. Everything must be taken in context to be understood as it was intended. This ambiguity lends itself to a wider range of expression and possibly the potential for more meaningful communication. It feels good to be understood by another person that takes the time and effort to actually be understanding. It can be very rewarding.

There are many options in how one chooses to express themselves with English. Personal preferences aside, I don't particularly care if someone chooses to express themselves by using the word 'whilst' in preference over some more acceptable term, and although it may be connotive of smugness when used by a Usian, I would not assume that is a person's intention in its use. I consider it a word that is put more often to bad use than it is to good, but it is equally capable of both. I think English is a beautiful language, even if it is a bit harsh on the ears.
 
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I see the use of the word "Whilst" in many patent claims.
 

rje

Re: Use of the Word "Whilst"

Oh, it is correct to use 'whilst' in any situation that you would use 'while' in. As I said, they have exactly the same meaning and exactly the same usages. If it's just commonly used in whatever part of Canada you're in (I can't remember it), that explains it. It just seemed to be getting more common to me. It seems like I've been seeing it everywhere recently and I never used to.

The word whilst is not used in Canada, except perhaps by people who have immigrated to Canada from places that use the word. Canadians do not say "whilst".

I hate the word. It angers me when I read it on a forum. It strikes me as language from another era.
 

rje

Re: Use of the Word "Whilst"

I posted for two reasons. First because I dislike the word and probably the types who use it, and secondly. to bug you.
 

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