Sunday, 13 March 2011

Free-Dumb of Speech

Grammatical errors and incorrect use of words is not a new phenomenon. Simply the ease by which we communicate in the twenty-first century has brought these annoyances to our attention.
I was born after received pronunciation had been largely abandoned by the BBC. During my formative years accents were heard everywhere - for example Michael Parkinson was probably the biggest thing on the BBC in those days, while Eddie Waring was heard every Saturday afternoon on Grandstand. Both northerners, their accents betrayed their origins but their words and grammar were quite correct. Today many presenters make a string of errors and effectively pass these on to the public.

For example, I hardly ever hear "bored with...." this days, the vast majority say "bored of....." which can only be through confusion between 'board' and 'bored'. Hence many must think the government has an office examining why the country is Board of Trade.

Could've (and should've) are perfectly acceptable contractions, short for 'could have' and 'should have' respectively. Yet when this word is split into its two constituents parts, most often for emphasis, we continually hear "Could of..." and "Should of...." or even "Could off ..." and "Should off...." in writing. I am bracing myself for the Facebook entry stating "Emma wants to off her baby at home."

Use of 'Pacific' instead of 'specific' can only be because these are people who simply never bother to read. Similarly the regions at the north and south poles are said to be the Artic and Antartic, when the map clearly shows the Arctic and Antarctic - an error also heard when purchasing an "artic roll".

Since the advent of the internet it has highlighted how so many simply have no notion of the correct use of it's and its; your and you're; to, too, and two; their, there and they're; who and whom; even an and and!

In conversation you still here libry or libary instead of library; borrowed instead of loaned; hampster instead of hamster; and increasingly esculator instead of escalator. Incidentally, please note the plural of TEXT is TEXTS and never TEXES. While "yeah?" and "right?" and "ok?" are never going to replace full stops, commas, or colons, nor will every sentence be a question, so please desist.

Finally a personal hate. The letter H is pronounced 'aitch' (look in the dictionary) it is NOT HAITCH as we hear again and again. Indeed it is constantly broadcast on ITV2 trailers suggesting such a programme is also available on "ITV2 Haitch Dee"


  1. I often uses this example:
    Your tool.
    You're a tool.

    Sometimes, simplest is best.

  2. Crap. I blew the comment. It should have read "I often use this example" not uses. Grrr.