Safire on albeit
William Safire writes about the word albeit, an odd 14th-century throwback that he says is all the rage today.
Why the popularity? For one, it's short, says Tony Reid of the Washington Post. He wrote a headline last month using the word: "Disarmament Process Starts in Sadr City, Albeit Slowly."
"And the tone of that word seems more definitive to me than although. Maybe because it's older it carries a little more weight. There is some part of my subconscious where my mother is running around that forced that word out of me. I know it's kind of old-timey, but when you're writing a headline, one word can make a difference."Safire points out that albeit is not shorter than though, though. And he seems to think more people use albeit to put on a literary air.