Monday, November 08, 2004

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.


At 9:33 PM, November 08, 2004, Blogger Bill said...

In an upstyle hed, "Albeit" is five counts while "Though" is 6.5. Safire is far from being too young to know how to count out a headline, but I guess he never had to.


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