The Continuing Insult To The English Language

Ermintruder

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The expression "You're Good To Go" is being used far Far FAR too many times, in the media and elsewhere!!! PLEASE, would the world stop using this expression so damn frequently (once or twice is fine....not permanently FGS!! Argos, are you listening? No, of course not)

It is driving me absolutely bats. :chain:

Thankfully the over-use of the word 'conversation' has quietened-down a bit.

Also: I'm starting to hear "repurpose" more often than I want to. Hang 'em, I say.
 

Swifty

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" Dear Sally, you messaged us..." no, she sent a message - I am never ever buying a Capri Sun fun pouch. Ever.
Capri and especially the Sun Fun pouch crew affiliated with them need to get their act together. This isn't a free ride.
 

GNC

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"Like, what even is this?" is a useful phrase nowadays.

Anyway, Shaggy was adding superfluous "likes" to his dialogue in Scooby-Doo cartoons from 1969. So blame the parents.
 

Ermintruder

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It's probably been said already, but people who say 'like' every tenth word
It is (to some older ears, mine included) extremelty annoying. And whilst it is quite-accurately stated:
Anyway, Shaggy was adding superfluous "likes" to his dialogue in Scooby-Doo cartoons from 1969
...my impression is that it's the sheer constant prevalence which grinds.

In what were originally west coast North American SoCal/'Valley Girl' (also GTA/mid-Canada, consistently westward back to the Pacific Ocean) speech patterns, all post-clausal closures display an interchangeable entreaty-seeking-affirmation rising tone'question tail' of upspeak.

This was always mirrored by a similar effect in post-WW2 Australasian speech patterns (less so New Zealand, but still present) and to an extent in English as spoken in Ireland, South Africa and the Carribean (and, Cockney/Mockney/Eshtury Inglish, loyeke)

The rising-tone tails of
  • ?like? and
  • ?Eh? and also
  • ?anyothersentencesoundinglikeaquestion?
...can become remarkably-intolerable to non-adherents after excessive exposure.

The neoclassic Canadian "Eh?" (allegedly originating from within Quebecoise speech patterns) has more-recently become embedded within mid and west Scotland common speech patterns; and, oddly-enough (possibly just to my ears) whilst a Canadienne 'post'-clausal "Eh?" is annoying in an almost-endearing way, a marginally-different "Eh?" rendered in Cumbernauld will have me reaching for my sick-bag.

Where upspeak/end-que tended *not* to be so noticeable (I generalise, but in the east of English-speaking groups) is slowly giving way to this linguistic worm. No more is it possible to end any statement or sentence on a neutral (or god forbid, negative) tone. Everything spoken now has to have this constant querulous uncertainty about it (which sounds so damn false to me). It's as if everyone is cramming a full "d'yaknowhatah'msayin'?" into every blasted syllable.

Perhaps this happens to all humans past their mid-century point. That they become hyper-aware pain-in-the-butt angry pedants (which I'm not- but maybe I am)
 
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James_H

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I don't see the problem with verbing nouns. Examples of the practice go way back - it's just become more common recently. As far as I can see it just adds more expressive flexibility to the language. As long as everyone understands what you mean when you say something, then what you have said is 'correct'.
 

Yithian

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It is (to some older ears, mine included) extremelty annoying. And whilst it is quite-accurately stated:

...my impression is that it's the sheer constant prevalence which grinds.

In what were originally west coast North American SoCal/'Valley Girl' (also GTA/mid-Canada, consistently westward back to the Pacific Ocean) speech patterns, all post-clausal closures display an interchangeable entreaty-seeking-affirmation rising tone'question tail' of upspeak.

This was always mirrored by a similar effect in post-WW2 Australasian speech patterns (less so New Zealand, but still present) and to an extent in English as spoken in Ireland, South Africa and the Carribean (and, Cockney/Mockney/Eshtury Inglish, loyeke)

The rising-tone tails of
  • ?like? and
  • ?Eh? and also
  • ?anyothersentencesoundinglikeaquestion?
...can become remarkably-intolerable to non-adherents after excessive exposure.

The neoclassic Canadian "Eh?" (allegedly originating from within Quebecoise speech patterns) has more-recently become embedded within mid and west Scotland common speech patterns; and, oddly-enough (possibly just to my ears) whilst a Canadienne 'post'-clausal "Eh?" is annoying in an almost-endearing way, a marginally-different "Eh?" rendered in Cumbernauld will have me reaching for my sick-bag.

Where upspeak/end-que tended *not* to be so noticeable (I generalise, but in the east of English-speaking groups) is slowly giving way to this linguistic worm. No more is it possible to end any statement or sentence on a neutral (or god forbid, negative) tone. Everything spoken now has to have this constant querulous uncertainty about it (which sounds so damn false to me). It's as if everyone is cramming a full "d'yaknowhatah'msayin'?" into every blasted syllable.

Perhaps this happens to all humans past their mid-century point. That they become hyper-aware pain-in-the-butt angry pedants (which I'm not- but maybe I am)
My students who have lived overseas in western countries do this a lot, but it doesn't usually last long. It's social parroting and when removed from the group of peers that practises it, it usually fades away pretty quickly.

The problem is when the person does not acually possess a normal register to employ--he has grown up thinking that normal speech sounds like this. It's outside my own experience, but my friends who teach in the UK tell me that it's prevalent among students with young parents who never themselves grew out of the habit.

More broadly, with the blurring of the lines between formal/informal, professional/social, polite/rude, and the increasing startification of society (yes, we're going backwards) many people simply do not ever have cause to (implicitly or explicitly) gauge context of uterrance. Does anybody under 50 have a 'telephone voice'? The emails from most companies I deal with address me as if we were surfing buddies.

As to the claim that questioning tones and distancing from direct statements etc. are indicative of diffidence among the younger generation, on the whole I'm sceptical--I think it's just a linguistic tick that is reinforced by exposure to the similarly afflicted.
 
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Ermintruder

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My students who have lived overseas in western countries do this a lot, but it doesn't usually last long.
I really hope that's true in lots of cases (stated: as a neutral desire for that outcome, rather than '¿I really hope that's true? in lots of cases?' )

my friends who teach in the UK tell me that it's prevalent among students with young parents who never themselves grew out of the habit.
This is such an obvious point, I missed it completely. And where community leaders/lecturers etc also display it, the motion is carried (without debate).

I think it's just a linguistic tick that is reinforced by exposure to the similarly afflicted.
In the main, you're probably correct. But there is also a vein of societal diffidence interwoven therein- precisely for the reasons you identify

ps is there also an element of upspeak "confirm I'm right" present in the English of *all* aspiring non-native English speakers?
 

Yithian

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ps is there also an element of upspeak "confirm I'm right" present in the English of *all* aspiring non-native English speakers?
I would say that it's much more common for a second-language learner to express uncertainty and deference lexically than tonally--tone being much farther down the path and harder to master. They'll more likely litter their ideas with 'maybe', 'perhaps' or employ modals of possibility.
 

Bad Bungle

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I was about 13 and in an informal end-of-term English lesson, the relief Teacher mentioned her female friend had recently done a PhD in English (I thought they were only in science disciplines). The first question asked in the Oral viva apparently required her friend give an answer in list form. "Firstly I would say .."
Immediately the Examiner slammed her down on the very first sentence 'there is no such word in the English language as Firstly, it is First, secondly, thirdly ..' I don't know if that's still true but the word Firstly still jars with me. I give a silent nod to Journalists who use First in their reports and a silent wince to Newscasters and TV presenters (like Paxo on University Challenge) who say Firstly. Snobbery ?
 

Mythopoeika

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I was about 13 and in an informal end-of-term English lesson, the relief Teacher mentioned her female friend had recently done a PhD in English (I thought they were only in science disciplines). The first question asked in the Oral viva apparently required her friend give an answer in list form. "Firstly I would say .."
Immediately the Examiner slammed her down on the very first sentence 'there is no such word in the English language as Firstly, it is First, secondly, thirdly ..' I don't know if that's still true but the word Firstly still jars with me. I give a silent nod to Journalists who use First in their reports and a silent wince to Newscasters and TV presenters (like Paxo on University Challenge) who say Firstly. Snobbery ?
AFAIK, 'firstly' is a perfectly acceptable word.
 

EnolaGaia

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First the worst
Second the best ...
I can't even begin to imagine the origin of the above, GNC.
It's a widely known UK children's playground rhyme / chant. Some versions start with 'Zero is the hero'.

There's an entire section on its variations and possible history in this 2010 book:

The Lore of the Playground: One Hundred Years of Children's Games, Rhymes & Traditions
by Steve Roud

... accessible at Google Books:

https://books.google.com/books?id=H...=onepage&q="Third the hairy princess"&f=false
 

Yithian

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First the worst
Second the best
Third the hairy princess
Fourth the squashed tomato
Fifth the golden eagle.

That's what I was taught at school. Well, I say "taught", I picked it up, anyway.
I grew up with 'the hairy chest' version, but try as I might I cannot manage to go further without lapsing into the magpie chant (at the wrong point):

First's the worst,
Second's the best,
Third's the one with the hairy chest.
Four for silver,
Five for gold,
Six for a secret that cannot be told.


Not quite working...
 

Yithian

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I was about 13 and in an informal end-of-term English lesson, the relief Teacher mentioned her female friend had recently done a PhD in English (I thought they were only in science disciplines). The first question asked in the Oral viva apparently required her friend give an answer in list form. "Firstly I would say .."
Immediately the Examiner slammed her down on the very first sentence 'there is no such word in the English language as Firstly, it is First, secondly, thirdly ..' I don't know if that's still true but the word Firstly still jars with me. I give a silent nod to Journalists who use First in their reports and a silent wince to Newscasters and TV presenters (like Paxo on University Challenge) who say Firstly. Snobbery ?
I'll take 'firstly' over 'second of all'.

If we're going to stick that on the end of every ordinal (instead of just first and last), it really is utterly redundant.
 
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