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How to pronounce Whilomville?

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How to pronounce Whilomville?
How do you pronounce Whilomville?

/ˈwɪləmvɪl/

"WILL-um-vill"

Listen to how they pronounce it in this video.

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CJ

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park slide 74How to pronounce Whilomville?

There is a word "whilom" that I am sure Crane meant to invoke. It is pronounced WHY-lum, and I would pronounce the fictional place accordingly.

According to Merriam-Webster:

Whilom shares an ancestor with the word while. Both trace back to the Old English word hwil, meaning "time" or "while." In Old English hwilum was an adverb meaning "at times." This use passed into Middle English (with a variety of spellings, one of which was whilom), and in the 12th century the word acquired the meaning "formerly." The adverb's usage dwindled toward the end of the 19th century, and it has since been labeled archaic.


Since it is archaic, the pronunciation could be either phonetic according to modern spellings, or the antiquated name carried over from the past. If this town is of antiquity, it makes sense that the inhabitants would have retained the old pronunciation. There are many places with names like that.

AlpheccaStarsSince it is archaic

It is archaic only as an adverb. It is current as a facetious literary "onetime". The AHD shows the pronunciation ( https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=whilom ), as does Oxford Dictionaries ( https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/whilom ), athough Oxford Dictionaries calls both words archaic. Anyway, I am aware of the word and its pronunciation, as the reader on YT evidently was not and Crane certainly was.

The OED calls the adverb archaic but the adjective merely obsolete, and provides both a British and a US pronunciation. The last citation is from 1888, so not all that obsolete. It's one of those funny old words like "yclept".

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Thanks. That makes sense. I checked on whilom beforehand. I have also checked several recordings of these stories, and the readers pronounce the word several ways (as While-om, rhymes with Nile or Whill, rhyming with swill). It's been a long time since I heard the word in graduate school, and yet I have taught Crane many times never sure of the pronunciation. I am looking in Crane biography and criticism for some clarity. WHY-lum--has a kind of Crane sense of irony.

park slide 74never sure of the pronunciation

"If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud!" (William Strunk)"