Monday, June 21, 2010


I have just had a small, but satisfying victory today. Let me give you a brief history that is actually so brief it doesn't justify my calling it out as a history to begin with, but I digress.

I have always enjoyed the word "whilst". I enjoy seeing it, I enjoy writing it, I enjoy saying. Speaking of saying it...I have ALWAYS, ALWAYS pronounced this word as though I were saying "while" and adding an "st" at the end. No question, right? It's a different way of saying the word while, so why would it sound any different?

I'll also take a moment to say that I don't question myself too often when it comes to pronunciations. I have my weaknesses and I have my strengths, and pronunciation is definitely one of my strengths. My parents taught me phonics and the rest was history. It didn't hurt that I worked at a credit card bank as a telemarketer for FOUR AND A HALF YEARS, and had to read each person's last name CORRECTLY as it popped up mere milliseconds after the person answered the phone, lest I be immediately deemed a worthless excuse for a human being were I to pronounce it wrong and be trying to sell them something. Let's just say I love being hung up on. (I was actually a really good salesperson and made quite a bit of money, but it sucked the life out of me and subsequently I have avoided any career path that might in any way lead to sales, but that's another post that I may or may not ever write.)

Meanwhilst... (see what I did just then?) I have heard people use the word whilst quite frequently lately and they have ALL been saying it with a short "i" sound. The first time I heard it pronounced that way, I was like, oh well, I'll just rest in the satisfaction of knowing that I know how to pronounce that word, and not everyone can be as pronuncitorally (don't look it up) gifted as I. But then I started hearing it more and more and more, and I started to question myself, but was never in a situation where I could easily do some research.

Today provided that opportunity. I was reading a document at work that used the word "while," and that was all it took. I was a'researchin'. And much to my glorious delight....I was correct!! I even tried to look up British pronunciation in case my fellow Americans were just trying on some foreign pants for size, but no!

See here and here and here and so on and so on.

It's not as much "Ha ha! Suck it, I'm right!" as it is, "Cool! I was right! Goooooo Phonics!" and whilst...ahem....I wasn't hooked on said phonics per se, I embraced them just the same.

In the famous words of the BEP.....Tonight's gonna be a good good niiiiight. Oooh Hooo.


Rachel Gray said...

I know for a fact I am one of the people you've heard pronounce "whilst" as "willst". So,yay for learning something new!!

Your tenacity makes my heart giggle.

Fill up my cup, mozoltov!!

Victory said...

OF COURSE it's whilst. Those other people are just silly.

(wink wink silly face with tongue sticking out)

Lolly said...

This is just one of the many reasons I like you so much, your creative and always correct pronunciation. :-P

LIZZY said...

yet another reason you and i are friends... our love of the word 'whilst' and attempts to insert said word into any sentence (correctly of course). thank you for designating a whole post just about this lovely little word.

fragilemom said...

Love it!

Kathie said...

I thought you'd enjoy seeing one of your favorite words in print: "Fish farmers are now hopeful they can take advantage too. "Whilst it's more challenging to grow fish organically - and there are many more guidelines to adhere to - there's no doubt there's a good future for organic fish farming with more and more people looking to buy products which are free of chemicals," said Lewis Macleod, who runs organic fish firm Lewis Salmon in Scotland."

becki said...

ha! I love it, thanks Kathie!