Seems to me that "maybe" is being crowded out by the use of "perhaps," even in letters. I perceive "perhaps" as more hifalutin than "maybe." Do I rightly surmise that "perhaps" comes from "per" (=through) + haps (cf. happen, happenstance, mayhap) thus "through happenstance"? That would give "perhaps" a partly latinate origin. OTOH "maybe" has simpler origin: may + be, which I suppose is 100% Anglo-Saxon.

The ubiquitous preference for "perhaps" in fiction and in informal writing seems highly pretentious. As the two words are surely synonymous, why should not "maybe" keep its place? Then again, mebbe I'm wrong - p'raps it's "perhaps" that's the older word and "maybe" the interloper.
Any thoughts? Which one is used in areas that used older English, e.g. mountain dialect areas?
Juvenaly

Remove rocks from email address before replying
Seems to me that "maybe" is being crowded out by the use of "perhaps," even in letters. I perceive "perhaps" ... and "maybe" the interloper. Any thoughts? Which one is used in areas that used older English, e.g. mountain dialect areas?

I suppose we are both in America, where "maybe" is the working word and "perhaps" is mildly formal. In Britain, last I heard, "perhaps" was the working word and "maybe" was mildly archaic.
Joe Fineman (Email Removed)
Seems to me that "maybe" is being crowded out by ... in areas that used older English, e.g. mountain dialect areas?

I suppose we are both in America, where "maybe" is the working word and "perhaps" is mildly formal. In Britain, last I heard, "perhaps" was the working word and "maybe" was mildly archaic.

Mayhap you're right.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Seems to me that "maybe" is being crowded out by the use of "perhaps,"

Perhaps you're right.

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
The ubiquitous preference for "perhaps" in fiction and in informal writing seems highly pretentious. As the two words are surely synonymous, why should not "maybe" keep its place? Then again, mebbe I'm wrong - p'raps it's "perhaps" that's the older word and "maybe" the interloper.

If you don't make your mind up, we'll never get started.