Thursday, May 21, 2009

How to sound snooty

There's been a dearth of commentary on verbiage around here lately (actually, a dearth of verbiage at all, as someone pointed out to me today). Here are some bonus tips for you.

Everyone likes to sound pompous every once in a while. If you're one of those ones, and now is one of those whiles, then I'd recommend the following:
  • Replace "while" with "whilst". Even better, use it whilst—er, while—speaking out loud.
  • Use "one" as an impersonal pronoun. You know, like, "When one finds oneself in the company of the masses, one is prone to turn up one's nose." If you want to come down from your throne, use "you" instead. (Grammar Girl has a more thorough treatment of this topic.)
  • Use "amongst". Similar to "whilst", you probably wouldn't use this word amongst your friends.
Have fun snooting!

Addendum: "an historic" should definitely be on the list. That one makes me want to throw up—unless you're English, in which case you're excused.


Kristy said...

I know someone who is really good at using the one as a pronoun. Sometimes I tally up how many times he uses it while teaching a lesson.

Carianne King said...

Bruce! I love it! Especially while being here in England and having just gone to some Jane Austen sights! :)

Jonathan said...