The Continuing Insult To The English Language

Andy X

AWOL
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
3,425
Reaction score
3,792
Points
154
Location
Larch Forest
Meldrew Mode
I may be the only one, but I hate the contraction 'in Branch' or 'In Store' - phrases like 'check it out in store'. Why have you put 'it' in store? Shouldn't it be in the shop? And 'in your nearest branch' would be so much nicer from our allegedly caring banks that are always by our side - except now they aren't because they keep closing local branches or de-staffing them so there is no-one with any power to talk to.
/Meldrew Mode

A few weeks ago I was in a branch of John Lewis (can't afford a lot of their stuff - £70 for an amusing facsimilie of a Marmite jar?? - ) but I like the department store feel of the place and was killing time. The DAB radio I once bought from there was the most comically shite electronic device I have ever encountered.

As I was leaving I was aware of some rushing about with walkie-talkies on the shop floor and on exiting the building found a man and woman outsider who I took to be some kind of shopfloor supervisors and a store detective in conference with a PCSO or similar officer with, AFAIK, no powers of arrest.

The JL staff seemed to find the situation quite entertaining and perhaps welcomed the break from routine: a man had been observed attempting to shoplift stuff and had done a runner when challenged. According to the PCSO he must have been successful earlier in his visit as he'd found packages of John Lewis merchandise hidden around the park into which the suspect had escaped.

"I can speak to him", offered the PCSO, "but I think we'd have a job proving it was definitely him who hid the stuff."

"Just tell him we don't want to see him again in store", responded JL walkie talkie man.

"You want me to tell him he's banned from the shop?", asked PCSO, by way of clarification.

That's how everybody I know would've put it and the JL bloke's transatlantic jargon-speak grated with me.

JHmmm, just realised what a dull post this is...oh well: 'Post Reply'.
 

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
6,664
Reaction score
13,378
Points
309
l like Americans, but some of the things they do to our language make the veins in my forehead throb. One of the major recent offences has been their adoption of the meaningless phrase “The proof is in the pudding”. WTF might that even mean? Do people not listen to what they themselves say? The expression is “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”, which actually means something.

If a Yank wishes to push me beyond vein-throbbing, and witness wisps of steam emanating from my shell-likes, he could use a phrase that USAnians have corrupted into meaning the exact opposite of its true intent: “l could care less [about X].”

Aaaaargh!

maximus otter
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
30,001
Reaction score
36,053
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
I read an article yesterday that described the kind of boss who gives him employees free reign (sic).

Surely it's 'free rein' (like a rider with his steed or Santa--with his reindeer), he's not making them absolute monarchs!

Yet on searching I find this is a common variation.
 

Frideswide

Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
Staff member
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
12,166
Reaction score
13,710
Points
284
Location
An Eochair
"Just tell him we don't want to see him again in store", responded JL walkie talkie man.

"You want me to tell him he's banned from the shop?", asked PCSO, by way of clarification.
Until the clarification question I'd understood it as a challenge to sneak in without being seen!

:adored:
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
4,534
Points
169
Location
York
I and my other author friends have a theory - people just don't read any more.

In my young day, everyone read books, newspapers if they weren't all that literary of bent. But they read. Nowadays people (generalising hugely here) mostly read the internet. Where they find misspellings ('free reign' at least makes sense though) and homophones and misunderstandings of phrases, which they then pick up and copy because it must be right if they read it...

Ect is the one currently driving me bonkers. But nobody learns Latin any more either, do they?
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
30,001
Reaction score
36,053
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
And is anyone going to mention the awful 'you've got another thinG coming'?
I don't think Americans often use 'think' as a countable noun (British: I need to have a think about it'), so for them 'another think' seems ungrammatical. 'Thing' is wrong, but it appears to make more grammatical (if not lexical) sense.
 

Spookdaddy

Cuckoo
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
6,493
Reaction score
6,897
Points
294
Location
Midwich
....(And, although nobody asked, there is no language code here, but we try to dissuade members from using profanity in thread titles)
I'm probably as guilty as anyone - but not apologising and would defend the tactical use of profanity as being an integral part of the English tradition. That said, incontinent overuse is inane and irritating and only serves to undermine the power of some of the most venerable words in our joyfully boisterous language.

I've dropped the C-bomb at least once - to describe a current political celebrity. But that was long before it became trendy – around two years before he became president, I reckon.

The only guilty thread title that I can think of off hand is a direct quote from a highly regarded English poet.

(Oh, and for those who hold to the idea that profanity is used to obscure a lack of vocabulary - I was finishing my dad's Telegraph crossword at thirteen, I've read Piers Plowman and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the original Middle English, and am about the only person I know who's managed to get all the way through Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy without having to resort to horse medication - so a twatting big pair of hairy fuckbollocks to that!!)
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

My joints go out more than I do
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
2,761
Reaction score
5,604
Points
204
Location
Ute inte på landet.
I'm probably as guilty as anyone - but not apologising and would defend the tactical use of profanity as being an integral part of the English tradition. That said, incontinent overuse is inane and irritating and only serves to undermine the power of some of the most venerable words in our joyfully boisterous language.
Yes, I think I would agree. I'm not one for swearing, but I find its tactical use makes the difference in some TV shows etc (case in point: the short 'The Last Leg' clip that I've posted a couple of times on the forum recently).

There's also a song... "I'm Not OK" by My Chemical Romance, which makes use of the f-word towards the end ("I'm not o-f***ing-kay") which really gets across the emotion the singer is trying convey.
Contrast that to the censored version of the song, in which he sings "I'm really not okay" which just sounds weedy.

But I don't like profanity for the sake of it; cannot abide to watch so-called comedy programmes where just about every other word is a swear word. That's not funny at all.
 

INT21

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
7,764
Reaction score
6,435
Points
279
Yithian,

...Rarely seen on others?

Do you view your pages on the Internet?...

Of course I do. Not much point in leaving content if you don't review it.

Maybe I should have written 'rarely seen on the other sites I visit' . As there are only six I have no problem following their content.

Facebook ? Don't know anything about it. Not on it. never have been. Nor any of the other more popular ones.

INT21
 

INT21

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
7,764
Reaction score
6,435
Points
279
Zebra,

...for about 97% of my life I thought that frothy coffee was called 'expresso'...

My wife does this. Most annoying.

Is it grounds for divorce ?

If not, it should be.

Edit:

Just re-read your line. You do realise it is inaccurate on not one but two counts ?

INT21
 
Last edited:

INT21

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
7,764
Reaction score
6,435
Points
279
...a 'power outrage'...

My wife has been suffering from one of those for the last 20 hours or so.

An errant car driver, attempting to avoid his rightful day in court, miscalculated a bend close to us and took out the local main Virgin Media distribution cabinet.
She was not at all happy with this and has spent today muttering darkly about switching to Sky.
Thankfully the Broadband is back on. Back episodes of Morse and Poldark may be viewed; and sheep may safely graze.

INT21.
 

Andy X

AWOL
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
3,425
Reaction score
3,792
Points
154
Location
Larch Forest
Until the clarification question I'd understood it as a challenge to sneak in without being seen!

:adored:
Good point - hadn't thought of that! He could've snuck in disguised as a set of ironic garden furniture or an overpowered barbecue with Bluetooth and GPS :)
 

INT21

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
7,764
Reaction score
6,435
Points
279
Ermintruder.

My license was for VHF Voice only.

But I did sometimes listen into 80 Mtr.

Haven't turned a receiver on for quite a while.

INT21
 

Mungoman

Mostly harmless...
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
2,543
Reaction score
4,167
Points
169
Location
In the Bush (Peak Hill, NSW)
I read an article yesterday that described the kind of boss who gives him employees free reign (sic).

Surely it's 'free rein' (like a rider with his steed or Santa--with his reindeer), he's not making them absolute monarchs!

Yet on searching I find this is a common variation.
An interesting expression Yith - free rein.

I spent some time working in racing stables as a teenager - mainly mucking out, but exercising the horses as well.

With race horses, to make them gallop, you 'collect' the reins so that they're tightish and the horse is 'on the bit', slide forward on the wither, and stand in the irons.

To slow them down you do the opposite, which is get off the wither, slide back on the saddle and sit - at the same time, you drop, or 'free the rein'. This indicates to the horse that the crisis is over.

So to me, free rein is basically the same as 'in your own time'.
 

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
5,745
Reaction score
8,250
Points
284
I believe the first one. :cool:
I do concede, the other two (tweets) are maybe a bit too propitious.

Which maybe brings me to the little matter of 'maybe'. To me, there is more than a nuanced difference between the word "maybe", and the phrase "may be". But a substantial contingent of Anglophonians seem determined to ensure that the wrong variation is used wherever and whenever possible.

I assume (with a high degree of depressed confidence) that the Venn diagram ring of suspects charged with the above crime would also be complicit in the constant conflict between using (correctly) the word "everyday" and the phrase "every day".

Citizens and copywriters alike just seem totally-oblivious to the difference, and it bugs me to beyond the point of distraction. Surely this isn't hard? Am I in a parallel universe? Pinch me, and I'll wake-up from this ungrammatical hell....
  • 'everyday' means commonplace, routine, predictable, ordinary, unremitting. It can clearly connote drudgery.
  • 'every day' means consecutively, sequential, a simple neutral statement of predicted instancy. It does not imply predictability- it states seriality.
(@Mungoman I totally get it that language evolves (and that English is far too widespread a tongue to control or constrain).... but there are some basic rules, which deserve defending....'sayin?)

  • Lose and loose. Nobody in the world apart from me hears or sees any difference (or, indeed, as I've been corrected in the past, 'diffrance') between these two meanings. Which to me is weird (as opposed to wierd)

I feel I'm definitely right about this, so I defiantly-define what I'm writing about. Defa-netly.

And that's whether the weather is fare or fowl.

I dont make the ruse in this gain. If peepole jus won two suite thenself then weer al doom
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
29,944
Reaction score
33,001
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
^ ^
This.
A defence of profanity that's often trotted out (another equine metaphor there!) is that more intelligent people, or those with a wide vocabulary, swear more than do others. My response is that even were that true, THEY still think THOSE few words are good enough for YOU. That's not good enough for ME.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
50,803
Reaction score
24,821
Points
284
Location
Eblana
A defence of profanity that's often trotted out (another equine metaphor there!) is that more intelligent people, or those with a wide vocabulary, swear more than do others. My response is that even were that true, THEY still think THOSE few words are good enough for YOU. That's not good enough for ME.
Right on! They can %^*! off!
 

INT21

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
7,764
Reaction score
6,435
Points
279
...Sometimes though its cathartic to abuse morons when they have lost the argument!..

Doesn't the use of foul and abusive language to someone you consider inferior make you the moron.

(Don't ask Tillerson, he'll swear he never said it.)

INT21.
 
Top