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#16591 - 01/24/01 03:29 PM While v. whilst  
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Faldage Offline
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Can anyone who uses both of these words tell me the difference between them? I have asked some realtime Anglophones (as opposed to US'nphones) but they have all been too long here in the wilderness* to remember the difference. I even asked a King Singer once with no success.

*They have been here so long that even I can hear their thick American accents.


#16592 - 01/24/01 04:29 PM Re: While v. whilst  
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this too shall pass
here's what I think about 'whilst': in American it's considered an archaic form of while, in the sense of "in the meantime" or "sometimes"; in British it is considered to be a formal form of while... -- etymologies of whilst say from "whiles".


#16593 - 01/24/01 04:43 PM Re: While v. whilst  
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rego park
In reply to:

in British it is considered to be a formal form of while..


I never thought of it as formal form of while-- just a word use in UK that is not use in US (and unsure about rest of world. )

I worked for Xerox, and our documentation for equipment was written in UK-- it would have lines like
"Whilst holding the nut with a spanner..."
These caused problems, since about 50% of tech's where not native speaker of English-- we had the usual poliglot of nationalities, and languages-- including one (native) Farsi speaker.

Having the word spanner-- not wrench in the sentance-- with whilst-- was just too much!


#16594 - 01/24/01 04:45 PM Re: While v. whilst  
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Berlin
While has many other meanings besides the whilst / in the midst of one, which is not true of whilst. For example the noun meaning of while, i.e. a period of time (e.g. abide the while) and the verb ('to while away my time'), etc.
I've often heard this usage...
'Whilst (while) I go to the shops to look around, she goes on for one of her spending sprees'.
It doesn't seem to take on the conjunctive role here, I think. Maybe it's just wrong. I'm eager to hear from the veterans.


#16595 - 01/24/01 05:48 PM Re: While v. whilst  
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B-y, I believe you are close to what I think. To me, while is a more generic term with broader application, whereas whilst refers to a specific act, process or event, maybe going on right then and there.


#16596 - 01/24/01 08:07 PM Re: While v. whilst  
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A "spanner" is a very specific type of wrench, if it wasn't refered to as such, my Dad would have been all over them (like a wet noodle). He was a tech rep for 20 years "there", and a mechanic for 20 years before.

Does anyone else know the phrase "like a wet noodle"?


#16597 - 01/24/01 08:51 PM Re: While v. whilst  
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Does anyone else know the phrase "like a wet noodle"?

I've never heard it used in the sense you used it. I've heard of someone being sentenced to "50 lashes with a wet noodle" and never really had the sense that it meant anything at all. Would love to understand it, if it does mean anything.

To describe being all over someone, I'm fond of the phrase "like a cheap suit in the rain."


#16598 - 01/24/01 09:00 PM Re: While v. whilst  
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rego park
yes a spanner is an open end wrench-- at xerox we used metric ones-- (and the directions did mention a 10mm spanner...) I would user plain wrench for an open ended wrench-- and a modifier for someother type-- a pipe wrench or a "monkey wrench"-- which is a very large adjustable wrench--(say a 4 inch pipe wrench--)

Here in NY, we use wet noodles to "flog" people. So a user who calls help desk and states "I deleted all these files, by mistake-- can you restore?" get told "Fifty lashes with a wet noodle! Of course- we can-- give a a few minutes, hours, days (as appopriate)." Its a sort of friendly empty threat-- or a mild punishment.

(user who call and complain that files have mysteriously disappeared-- or blame us-- when they are at fault-- do not get such friendly punishment.-but they too, get there files back--)

a Wet Noodle flog is punishment when people feel guilty for doing something wrong (deleting files) but are easy to work with since they are honest, and admit that what happened was their mistake--.


#16599 - 01/24/01 09:07 PM Re: While v. whilst  
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rego park
In reply to:

Does anyone else know the phrase "like a wet noodle"?


and

In reply to:

like a cheap suit in the rain.


as i stated in NY, wet Noodle is used differently, but to be all over someone-- that could be a thread of its own

I think of
to be all over them...
...like white on rice.
or
...like flies on shit.

but i am sure there will soon be 1000 more!---


#16600 - 01/24/01 09:07 PM Re: While v. whilst  
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I, too, have heard the phrase "all over someone like a cheap suit", but not in the rain. I have heard it mistakenly said to mean "passionately caressing" by an Ozzie in a dictionary he was making to explain Americanisms to Ozzies.


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