I'm ranting. I've got nothing against Americans at all. I quite like them, to be honest. They've written some of my favourite books and sang some of my favourite songs. I just like being British and like our language. If I was French, I wouldn't speak Belgian, so I'm sticking to English.
I was horrified this week to read a piece in The Independent where a man described his wife as being "pissed". He meant angry and not inebriated. How odd and confusing. When did pissed start meaning angry? I also saw an advert on a bus for Subway saying "Do the Math!" Eek. It's maths. It always has been and always will be. I felt a cold chill.
It's not just the Americanism we've adopted which drive me crazy (24/7 kills me), it's the faddy and lazy phrases people over use for a period of time. They're funny for a minute or so and then are hideously irritating. My rule is: what would Noel say? By that, I mean Noel Coward not Edmonds. If I met Mr Edmonds he'd say "Please don't stab me." as I ran at him with a knife for crimes against good taste. If it wouldn't crop up in a Noel Coward piece it's probably not funny and not appropriate.
My current hate list is this:
- Putting .com after things e.g. tired.com. It's not funny or clever.
- Saying "Back in the day." It makes you sound like a cheesy local radio disc jockey.
- "Wine o'clock" was maybe funny the first time it was said or typed but it isn't now, honestly.
- "Five items or less" on a checkout. It's "fewer", the same as it's "different from" not "different to/than"
- LOL/PMSL/ROFL. Really? You're not really doing that at all are you? So please, don't type it. It's silly. What ever happened to "tee-hee" or "ha ha ha".
- Text message speach and abreviations. I hate this. I can't stand "ya" for you, especially.
- "Man flu". Lazy and sexist stereotyping. I had severe flu and everyone kept asking if I had man flu. I had actual flu, thanks and was in bed for a week sweating and suffering. Cheers for belittling it.
I know this sounds pedantic and picky and I'm sure I say things incorrectly or overuse phrases that annoy others too but I am the man who won't sing along to a song if it's grammatically correct. I have to adapt the lyrics to exclude the word "aint" or any of those nasty double negatives. Eurgh.
So in summary, desist please. Period.