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To think some words don't belong in informal conversation

(198 Posts)
Thrif Tue 11-Nov-14 08:17:11

There are certain words that, whilst technically correct, make a person sound completely up themselves when used out loud.

Whom is the worst. Whilst is another

tiggytape Tue 11-Nov-14 08:21:29

Thus might be a bit odd in informal conversations.
I don't think whilst is odd though or even whom as long as you're not massively emphasising the "m" to prove how grammatically correct you are.

however Tue 11-Nov-14 08:21:46

I do not concur with your sentiment.

GloopyGhoul Tue 11-Nov-14 08:24:15

Well, it depends to whom you are speaking, surely.

LindyHemming Tue 11-Nov-14 08:25:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

odyssey2001 Tue 11-Nov-14 08:26:58

An informal conversation should not have to be grammatically incorrect. mAbE we shud aL jst TLK n txt spk!

AndyWarholsOrange Tue 11-Nov-14 08:29:24

Whence and Thus

MrsPiggie Tue 11-Nov-14 08:31:18

Thus, maybe it sounds a bit pretentious. But I don't agree at all with not using whom and whilst. It's just about being grammatically correct. Might just as well say you shouldn't say "you are" but "you is"

SeaUnicorns Tue 11-Nov-14 08:34:24

Er you have used whilst in first sentence then said using it makes the user sound completely up themselves.

As they say on social media #justsaying

1hamwich4 Tue 11-Nov-14 08:36:03

I don't understand when to use whom, so I never do.

Can anyone explain the rule please?

tigerdriverII Tue 11-Nov-14 08:39:36

Context is everything here: who you are, your audience etc. When I first read the OP I thought that I'd always use "to whom", for example, but on reflection if I were speaking very casually, I'd say "who were you speaking to". I don't think that "whilst" is a specially poncey word, I'd certainly use it in normal casual conversation.

What really irritates me are the faux posh/ fancy words that are totally unnecessary - eg most uses of "myself", "please refrain from" instead of "don't", use of the passive voice where it's not needed or is in fact confusing.

Here endeth the lesson.

TheFirstOfHerName Tue 11-Nov-14 08:43:23

DS2 has AS. He regularly uses "whilst" and "hence" in everyday conversation. He also numbers his points as he makes them: "Firstly..."
He isn't trying to sound superior, it's just that he speaks the way he thinks.

TheFirstOfHerName Tue 11-Nov-14 08:47:14

Can anyone explain the rule please?
I think you can use it when the "who" is in the genitive, dative or ablative case:
of whom
to whom, for whom
by whom, with whom, from whom

EBearhug Tue 11-Nov-14 08:48:44

As a rough guide, it's who for the subject of a sentence, and whom for the object or indirect object. This obviously depends on you being able to identify whether something is subject or object. There is debate over its use, and I doubt anyone would worry or in most cases even notice whether you use who when strictly it should be whom, so I wouldn't worry about it. There are guides online if you google.

I use whom, whilst, thus, and occasionally hence, whence and thence, and if people think I sound up myself, that's their problem, not mine.

TheFirstOfHerName Tue 11-Nov-14 08:49:09


EBearhug Tue 11-Nov-14 08:51:11

What really irritates me are the faux posh/ fancy words that are totally unnecessary - eg most uses of "myself", "please refrain from" instead of "don't", use of the passive voice where it's not needed or is in fact confusing.

Yes, this. Especially where uses of "myself" are wrong.

tigerdriverII Tue 11-Nov-14 09:02:30

Just thought of another one, on the same theme as "whom" and probably committed for the same reasons: using "and I" when it should be "and me". My colleague does this all the time - "please send your reply to Tiger and I".

Trickydecision Tue 11-Nov-14 09:15:15

I agree, Tiger, about "to Tiger and I ". This crops up often on here. I think it is an attempt to sound 'genteel' whereas it just makes the poster appear a pillock.

OTheHugeManatee Tue 11-Nov-14 09:38:15

I disagree that 'whom' is categorically out of place in normal conversation. It depends entirely who you are talking to. I do agree though that conversations take place in different registers (ie different 'tones') that come with their own linguistic markers and unwritten rules. Knowingly violating the normal linguistic register is a slightly twatty thing to do, especially if the intention is to make the other person feel inferior.

The reverse is also true though: if you use a markedly informal register where a formal one would be appropriate that marks you out as either ignorant, over-familiar or actively hostile.

The error in both cases is poor sensitivity to tone of voice.

MonstersBalls Tue 11-Nov-14 09:43:40

I always get confused with the 'and I' thing. Aren't you supposed to put yourself last and use I? I thought 'and me' was incorrect even if you do sound like a pillock\the Queen saying 'my husband and I'.

NancyRaygun Tue 11-Nov-14 09:47:46

Ergo. That doesn't really belong in an informal chat.

But, to my mind, none of these are as annoying as "methinks", or "doth"

-grinds teeth-

OTheHugeManatee Tue 11-Nov-14 09:49:21

It's not that you put yourself last, you should test the sentence without the other person in it. So if you want to say 'Send the brochures to Bob and me' you should try removing Bob and see if it sounds odd or not. If you wouldn't say 'Send the brochures to I' then don't say 'Send the brochures to Bob and I'. Likewise 'Bob and I went to the shops'. Without Bob, the sentence still works: 'I went to the shops'. 'Me went to the shops', not so much.

OraProNobis Tue 11-Nov-14 09:51:05

grin at the OP using 'whilst' whilst complaining about 'whilst'. grin

Eminybob Tue 11-Nov-14 09:51:29

No monsters, you use "and I" where if it was just you you'd use "I", and "and me" where if it was just you you'd use "me". If that makes sense?

Eminybob Tue 11-Nov-14 09:52:11

X post with manatee blush

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