It also seems to be quite common in usage on Wikipedia, but not elsewhere.
- I use whilst fairly commonly, and have never considered it affected, though I'm aware that it would be likely to be considered so in the USA. (I'm British.) I don't usually make a conscious decision about whether to use while or whilst, but rather use whichever one is in the sentence in my head! Loganberry (Talk) 23:48, 17 September 2005 (UTC)
- As an American, whilst (like amongst and amidst) makes me cringe. I'm not sure whether it's (A) Archaic, (B) Cultural, or (C) None of the above. I see it as archaic at best, and at worst, just an inattentive bad habit (sorry, Loganberry). People who are taught to write, are pressed to avoid that which is unnecessary. Less is more. Adding "-st" to "while" achieves nothing, except to offer clues about the author.--22.214.171.124 11:41, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
- None of this "I'm an American" crap, please. I'm an American and I use -st variants often, right in actual speech, and I know loads of people who do so. The fact that self-proclaimed writing experts recommend "less" so the simple minds of the average, barely literate idiot can grasp written information is no reason for anyone to feel bad or that they're in the wrong for using the word. Use of the word says nothing about the writer, but more about the person reacting so absurdly to it. Seems to me that people who have a problem with "whilst" are projecting onto others in a bout of anti-elitism elitism. I know plenty of people who would consider "I am" (rather than just "I'm" -- just an example, pick any contraction you please) to sound archaic as well because the average American doesn't say the entire phrase. Should we just start cringing whenever any vaguely formal words or phrases are used? I think not. Michael 09:05, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Well said, Michael. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 10:02, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
- Okay, Michael, if you need more reasons: "Whilst" is aesthetically ugly. How's that? It's a hard consonant breaking up what should be a small and smooth word.
- And by the way, those "self-proclaimed writing experts" you mention? Those would be People who get paid to write, and People who get paid to teach others how to write. So, yes, I'll listen to them, rather than "Angry Michael of Wikipedia". --188.8.131.52 14:01, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
"whilst" gets 85 million Google hits and "while" gets 1300 million Google hits. I agree with Peyna that "whilst" tends to show up lately in writing where people think it sounds a bit more erudite, when in fact it is simply archaic (even though "while" has the earlier origin). Hu 04:50, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I feel this Google test is somewhat invalid. "while" is an incredibly common keyword in almost all modern programming languages, and there are tons of references/tutorials for these online. Additionally, "while" is used a lot more in media, like song and movie titles, which, it could be argued, maybe be due to the word "while" being simpler and shorter to pronounce, thus catchier in such titles. A Google test will rarely work well for such common words as conjunctions. Whilst I agree that "whilst" is pretty much deprecated and archaic, this Google test is pretty weak evidence. 184.108.40.206 00:31, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
What a load of tripe. Some people feel more comfortable with while, others feel more comfortable with whilst. Both are perfectly acceptable. Neither are incorrect, or elitest.
Whilst originated as the genitive form of while. Using it where the genitive form is appropriate is correct English, whichever side of the Atlantic (or indeed Pacific) you hail from. 220.127.116.11 10:42, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
The preceding paragraph can be nothing but nonsense. The word while is a preposition, and (as anybody who knows anything about inflected languages should know) only nouns and adjectives can have declensions (of which the genitive is one case). The OED says whilst was formed from "whiles" by imitation of "amongst"; and although "whiles" is indeed said to appear to have originated by a "genitive form" of "while" about 700 years ago when Middle English was young, there is no possible reason for the genitive case to have anything whatever to do with consideration of its use now. In English, prepositions governing a noun don't even require the genitive case (such as it exists) of that noun; but "while" is a preposition governing a clause, which has no declined case forms; so the statement "Using it where the genitive form is appropriate is correct English" is (I have to say) utter rubbish. There may be no way in which "whilst" is actually wrong in people's private writings, but the form is not desirable in published articles.
Similarly, although not necessarily wrong in the world at large, neither "while" nor "whilst" is justifiable for use in Wikipedia articles where the meaning is "although", simply because "although" is always available, is utterly unambiguous even without regard to any particular context, and therefore is more readily understandable to all readers --- including all those whose first language is not English. The latter may be using en.wiki to develop an article in their language, or because no wiki for their language exists at all yet. The very nature of a word like "although", of which the purpose is always to express some form of contrast between actuality and expectation, means that it tends to occur in sentences of which the import may be less obvious that that of simpler constructions. This makes absolute lucidity of sentences that present such contrasts even more important than in sentences that are simple statements of fact. Therefore I recommend that wikipedians be urged to stick to "although" everywhere when it is the required meaning, avoiding "while" as well as "whilst" in those cases. Iph (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 19:04, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
- Whilst I admire the dedication to this issue I must insist you all go outside and frolic amongst the greenery and wildlife to take your minds off this pathetic discussion. EchetusXe (talk) 16:07, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Intro [[Talk:While?section=_Utter_nonsense_interpretation_of_The_Times_and_The_Guardian_style_guides_| Utter nonsense interpretation of The Times and The Guardian style guides ]] Multiple Choice Usage My idiolect \"While and whilst\" section Use of \"while\" to mean \"until\" The English/American conflict a different angle Replaced page after deletion Thee and Thou Sources & anti-whilst snobbery Clean up time \"While\" need not introduce a clause Blacklisted Links Found on the Main Page External links modified
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