Thursday, July 24, 2008

Words I Like: Whilom

It's just past 6 a.m. and I have already learned something new today, which is that English once had a frequently used dative case, a term I hadn't heard since fifth-year Latin. I found this out while researching the word whilom, which appeared in a spurious Noel Coward letter forged by Lee Israel, whose memoir "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" is about to be published.

According to the geekily enjoyable World Wide Words, whilom means the same thing as erstwhile and quondam , as in: "Glamourbrain, the whilom strumpet, is now a model of deportment."

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