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lachoy (1663)


I am actually Chris Winters; I am actually living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; I am actually married and have three cats. (Guess what one of them is named?) I am the "OpenInteract" guy, which could be good or bad.

Journal of lachoy (1663)

Tuesday February 05, 2002
03:42 PM


[ #2669 ]
What is it with geeks and the word "whilst"?
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  • I think it's only pretentious if the geeks are American. "Whilst", along with "amongst", seems to be perfectly normal for Brits. Don't know about speakers of other Englishes.
    • Sorry, scoping error. Should have constrained my bitching. And yes, I read this all the time among *American* geeks. Your note and the fact that M-W classifies this as 'chiefly British' makes me wonder if rubs off from watching tons of English comedy/SF...
  • One thing I did when I was editing Dave Cross's Data Munging with Perl [] is to suggest changing a lot of Anglicisms that would have looked odd to US readers, because they were Anglicisms that most US readers would not know about. Almost none of it was words that didn't exist in the US; most of it was words or usages that exist just fine in the US, but where the most frequent use/sense in the UK is an infrequent sense/use in the US. "Whilst" is sort of an example of this: "whilst" is normal in the UK, but v
    • I was happy to accept your advice on all of those because although your suggestions were slightly "less British" they weren't completely "non British". They were still things that I could picture myself saying.

      The only change that I completely refused to accept was when the copy editor changed "would never have got to the end" to "would never have gotten to the end". That's simply not acceptable English and something that I would never say.

      In the end they allowed me my single "Britishism".

      My wife, who is

      • Yes, I thought that the idea of the words of a British person being set down in American spelling was, in theory, odd. But in practice, I don't think it was as weird as writing Ukranian in Russian orthography would be, or something comparable; the typical sentence of English doesn't allow one to distinguish UK spelling/content versus US spelling/content.

        Moreover, if they'd very logically decided to let you use UK spellings, they would never have been able to spell check it there, since all their spellcheck

      • I was recently looking at Matt Sergeant's AxPoint module for generating PDF slideshows from XML. He chose to use British spellings for the XML tags for obvious reasons. It's quite refreshing, really. We'll see how well it fits the fingers when I start using it (and if I need to write a stylesheet to translate the tag names for more dwimmery). :-)