You may remember, depending on the length of your attention span and whether you actually read my page or use it for lining the bottom of the budgie’s cage, that a couple of weeks ago I vented my spleen – I’m having the stitches out a week Thursday by the way!
My fury (if you can call it that) was directed at the irritating use of sloppy grammar on TV programmes, specifically the substitution of “Should of” for “Should have” and the emphasis on the first syllable of the word “Research” so it becomes the Americanised “ Ree-search!”
Well, it’s obvious that the presenters of BBC Breakfast, Sky News and whatever the ITV breakfast show is called don’t have the South Wales Evening Post delivered to their Hampstead houses, Mayfair mansions and Manchester maisonettes, because they’re still at it.
Every morning, they are there, mangling our precious language as I watch the telly in my kitchen with more steam pouring out of my ears than the kettle that’s boiling to make my first cuppa of the day.
And it doesn’t get any better when I leave the house. Forget grammar for a moment. While you’re at it, you can forget granddad, too.
(Because they both know how to speak correctly.)
Wherever I go, whether it’s shops, offices, banks…any business premises, I hear people say things that either they’ve been trained to say verbatim day after day so they’re unable to deviate from it, or they just open their mouths and speak without thinking.
Much better to think without speaking… methinks!
Take the over-used expression “No problem!”
What could I possibly have against it?
So much! So very much!
The other day I ‘phoned my local taxi office and asked for a cab to pick me up from my house at a particular time to take me to a particular restaurant I frequent because when it comes to food I’m particular.
What did the lady at the taxi office tell me?
You see, to my mind, that’s a negative reply. The words “No” and “Problem” joined together, hint that there might possibly be a problem.
A more positive response would be “Certainly sir!”
I’d even prefer the classic taxi firm fib “He’s on his way”
If I ‘phoned the butchers and asked them to send a taxi around, that would be a problem…and not only because I was losing it big time.
But I was ‘phoning a taxi firm that employs taxi drivers who drive taxis for a living. So I don’t think that complying with a request to supply a taxi should be a problem!
Or is it me who has a problem?