The Continuing Insult To The English Language

Xanatic*

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
3,761
Reaction score
3,562
Points
159
There is a maker of scented candles whose slogan is: "The world's best loved candle." o_O
 

JamesWhitehead

Piffle Prospector
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
12,901
Reaction score
11,049
Points
309
The first really filthy joke I learned concerned the candle-maker who ran out of wax and impregnated a convent. They were all to be walled-up, until the Mother Superior had a litter of kittens. :nun:

It cries out for film-treatment:

Problem: The diligent candle-maker is late with the order. Lights are going out, all over the convent. A novice is sent down to enquire. The old candle-maker explains that the bees have been driven from their hives by Satan. He will do what he can. As the comely novice departs, he reaches inside his robe and his trusty ginger-tom rubs himself against his leg.

Crisis: The convent is brightly lit. There are candles in every sconce but the occasion is a solemn one. An inquisitor has been called-in to deal with the unusual number of pregnancies among the sisters. He raises his trowel to signify the fate of the malefactors. Then he is beckoned aside.

Resolution: In a scene reminiscent of the Nativity, Mother Superior is seen at a crib, rocking her litter of kittens. The Inquisitor's heart is melted and he takes her hand. "They are truly ours?" "Yes! Yes!" she whispers and winks at the camera, as the credits start to roll. :adored:
 
Last edited:

Gizmos Mama

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
331
Reaction score
691
Points
94
Location
Southern Alberta, Canada
So it 'tacks' at and angle to the headwind for a while, then 'changes tack' to put the wind on the other quarter and still maintain it's forward direction.
And if you are traveling against the wind, and your destination is upwind, if you don't tack regularly, you will go way off course. ;)
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
28,898
Reaction score
33,564
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
The first really filthy joke I learned concerned the candle-maker who ran out of wax and impregnated a convent. They were all to be walled-up, until the Mother Superior had a litter of kittens. :nun:
My first dirty jokes were also about nuns (and very puerile):

Exhibit A: Two nuns in the bath. One says to the other, "Where's the soap?" The other replies, "It does, doesn't it?"

Exhibit B: A dormitory of young nuns. The mother superior enters at nine o' clock and instructs, "Candles out, girls".

*Cue a sound like a cork from a bottle*

:palert:
 

Cochise

Never give up, never surrender
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
5,659
Reaction score
6,408
Points
284
One of the Coalettes just says 'Sure'. Deadpan.
'Really?' will do.

And, Yith, those are so old they should be national monuments :)
 

Kryptonite

Stanley Unwin enthusiasty. Deep joy!
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
609
Reaction score
1,440
Points
134
Location
Glasgow
When did the word 'months' start being pronounced as 'munce'?

I only noticed it recently, and it seems to very widespread- I've even heard a newsreader on the radio doing it this week.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

My joints go out more than I do
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
2,761
Reaction score
5,578
Points
204
Location
Ute inte på landet.
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

The line in blue which you are attributing to me, is actually a line from someone else which I merely quoted. :) (See post 625 on page 21).

:hoff:
 

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
5,706
Reaction score
8,119
Points
284
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

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
27,669
Reaction score
37,500
Points
284
" 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

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
29,579
Reaction score
15,590
Points
309
"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

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
5,706
Reaction score
8,119
Points
284
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)
 
Last edited:

James_H

And I like to roam the land
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
7,532
Reaction score
5,809
Points
309
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

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
28,898
Reaction score
33,564
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
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.
 
Last edited:

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
5,706
Reaction score
8,119
Points
284
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

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
28,898
Reaction score
33,564
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
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

Dingo took my tray bake.
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
1,609
Reaction score
4,401
Points
154
Location
The Chilterns
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

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
39,679
Reaction score
28,874
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
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.
 
Top