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The Death Of The English Language As We Know It.

Is it just me or does anybody else feel like this...

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David Davis22/10/2016 05:17:06
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When I was young with long hair onto my shoulders, a beard and flaired trousers, many of the older generation of the time disapproved of me simply on the basis of my appearance. I vowed then not to be so narrow minded when I grew older.

However, now that I'm drawing a retirement pension, I find myself disapproving of quite a few modern trends in the way in which the English language is spoken in Great Britain today. Don't get me wrong I love regional accents, and the accents of our cousins elsewhere in the English-speaking world, but the following three or four examples of modern usage really get my goat!

  1. The Rising Inflection at the end of Every Sentence.
  2. The use of the word "Like" at the beginning of every sentence.
  3. The use of the word "So" at the beginning of every sentence.
  4. The pronunciation of "kilometres" as "KiLOMetres," the emphasis on the second syllable.

The first two affectations are popular with the younger generation. When I asked my cousin's sixteen year-old son whether he'd chosen a career yet, I got the reply, "Like, I'm going to join the RAF. Like, I'd like to work in the Intelligence Section." Each sentence with a rising inflection as if he were asking a question! Maybe he'll grow out of it.

You may hear the last two expressions most mornings on that bastion of English usage, The Today Programme on BBC's Radio 4. Why do so many mature experts feel that they have to answer each question starting with the word "So," and why does the BBC insist that kilometres should be pronounced as "kiLOMetres?" We don't talk about "miLLIMetres," or "cenTIMetres" so why is it KiLOMetres? angry.

 

PS. This post was inspired by BEB's experience in two fast food outlets.

PPS. The natives of antipodean countries are exempted for any criticism implied in the first example listed above.

Grammar Nazi? Moi?

Perhaps I should get out more. I'll get me coat! smiley

Edited By David Davis on 22/10/2016 05:18:21

ted hughes22/10/2016 06:01:19
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466 forum posts

It is our age.

"Sick" now means good: "That's really sick!"about something we like.

"My bad"=I apologise.

"Shut up!" (with the emphasis on up) means "Really? Fantastic!"

The rising inflection in sentences originated in California about 10 years ago.

This stuff was discussed on Radio 4 a few months back (the Home Service to you and me).

It is ephemeral.A lot of it comes from American TV shows.

We used to confuse our parents with "Groovy, man! "about something we like.

Gordon Nicol22/10/2016 07:07:20
81 forum posts

English is an evolving language...some of us just take a while to adjust to this... I still use hyphens, but only because it 's how I was taught, and I am always getting pulled up by the grammar nazis for using too many dots on my ellipsis use (note there are only three dots on here)

people using text speak on letters or posting, however , makes me see red... so don't bloomin' do it

 

CU L8r

 

Edited By Steve Hargreaves - Moderator on 22/10/2016 18:25:01

Barrie Dav 222/10/2016 07:27:50
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There is no such thing as a grammar Nazi, that's a terrible word to use in this context, just people who were taught, many years ago, correct English grammar as it existed in those days. Now, like everything else, the language is becoming influenced by America and going downhill (evolving???). 'Me and John went to the pictures' really - John and I went to the pictures. surely... There is a horrible habit these days of always putting 'Me' first but then most people put themselves first in most things now don't they...... I must conclude my rant now or I'll be here all day.

Answers on a pre-paid post card please.

Percy Verance22/10/2016 07:48:27
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I've also noticed the trend (if indeed it is a trend) for the younger generation to use the word *like* frequently in their conversations. Sometimes it happens several times in the same sentence!

It's learned behaviour without a doubt though. I know an elderly chap whom uses the word *like* very often while explaining himself etc. And, not surprisingly, his son - who is in his 50's - also does the same. Although his daughter, who is 26 years old, doesn't!

There's also the "can I get" whatever it is they want, instead of "can I have". I hear this very frequently in shops etc, and I find that most annoying.

Another bloke I've known for 30 odd years finishes almost every sentence with "do you know what I mean?". On numerous occasions I have actually said to him " you've no need to keep asking me if I know what you mean, because if I don't I'll ask you to repeat it because I didn't understand what you meant". But it seems to go right over his head.....

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 22/10/2016 07:49:15

David Davis22/10/2016 07:55:41
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May I just say that as a Shropshire Lad I'll allow any of my fellow Salopians to use the word "like" at the end of a sentence in the interests of maintaining cultural diversity like.

wink.

David perry 122/10/2016 08:03:52
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Hath thee noticed not that thy language be but a Living thing?

How thy mothers tongue doth flex this way and that, seeming ever to depart from the beautiful thing thou thought standard , a standard imprinted firm into thjn buttocks by fierce school masters?

Perhaps after all, when the snake we call call language stops its writhing, tis best called dead.

D

Phil 922/10/2016 08:48:28
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4287 forum posts
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**LINK**

using like and sick are terms used back in the 70's (depending where you are from) so is using the word bad meaning good. and there is some that have faded out such as calling everybody a spaz (no longer PC and rightly so)

dig it, dude

cool

groovy

if you grew up in the 60's or 70's then it is you chaps who started all this so it no good complaining about it now cheeky

Rich too22/10/2016 09:02:55
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Posted by Gordon Nicol on 22/10/2016 07:07:20:

English is an evolving language...some of us just take a while to adjust to this... I still use hyphens, but only because it 's how I was taught, and I am always getting pulled up by the grammar nazis for using too many dots on my ellipsis use (note there are only three dots on here)

people using text speak on letters or posting, however , makes me see red... so don't bloody do it

CU L8r

It is evolving, but there has been a lot of "dumbing down" on television and radio. The way the presenters talk these days it is no wonder kids talk the way that they do..

Robert Armstrong 222/10/2016 09:32:24
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My personal dislike is the way all presenters now say 'ter' instead of 'to'.

Michael Ramsay-Fraser22/10/2016 10:33:48
224 forum posts

I have to admit, the use of the word 'So' at the beginning of a sentence is one of my pet hates.

However, I don't think the decline in linguistic standards is wholly down to American influences.

'Estuary English' as used by the likes of Jamie Oliver and Steve Wright is a pernicious attack on our culture. Bosh!

Phrases such as 'diamond geezer' and 'I see what you done there' being prime examples. The widespread use of the glottal stop in 'Estuary English' is particularly annoying.

Steve Wrights current use of 'Serious Jockin' (no g on Jockin)' I find infuriating.

Edited By Michael Ramsay-Fraser on 22/10/2016 10:34:32

Mike Etheridge 122/10/2016 10:36:33
1536 forum posts
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One trend I have noticed with the young is the request in a place such as a restaurant or similar 'Can I get'' rather than ''Please may I have'' something. If offered something the young sometimes respond ''well go on then'' . Does this occur throughout the country?

Bob Cotsford22/10/2016 10:47:22
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So, like there was an interesting question on QI (lets not go into the subject of Sandy Toksvik as questionmaster) last night bout new words being included in the OED. So they seemed to be a mix of Jockisms an yoof words. Whats that all bout?

Tony Richardson22/10/2016 11:11:31
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You should come live in Canada for a while and listen to some of the " Trumpism's" ? on the news bytes from south of the border, " BIG'LY" is one that drives me crazy, "BRAGADOCIOUS" not sure if it is really a word so have no idea if it is spelled correctly. Still what can you expect from a self centered moron.

Sorry for the edits but it is late and these old eyes fade towards the end of the day.

Edited By Tony Richardson on 22/10/2016 11:12:52

Edited By Tony Richardson on 22/10/2016 11:15:14

Martin Harris22/10/2016 11:13:54
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Posted by ted hughes on 22/10/2016 06:01:19:

The rising inflection in sentences originated in California about 10 years ago.

This stuff was discussed on Radio 4 a few months back (the Home Service to you and me).

Far be it from me to dispute the word of such an august body as the BBC, but wasn't the rising inflection carried in with the tide of Australian soaps, led by that very organisation with Neighbours, almost 30 years ago to the day?

leccyflyer22/10/2016 11:21:09
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That's my recollection too Martin - it stemmed from Australian soaps, but is also notable in Valley Girl speak from California.

Personally, I use the "So," in starting a sentence with some regularity, especially where it follows on from another point made earlier, or in reply to such a point. There is nothing wrong with it as far as I can see. The language is not, nor has it ever been, static and pickled in aspic.

IanR22/10/2016 11:28:50
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Its all down to the individual. Or is it up to? Going forward, we'll see. Or in future. Perhaps we'll step up to the plate and start playing baseball. The oldest ones that I can think of, that woman Laura Norder using a fine toothcomb, or is it a fine-tooth comb. I mean, when someone says "fine toothcomb" have they never stopped to consider what the hell a toothcomb actually is?

Ian

Don Fry22/10/2016 11:30:37
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Quite right, from the USA comes a falling inflection at the end of a sentence, classes by the grammar purists there, and that is a contradiction in itself, as a speech impediment.

Phil 922/10/2016 11:38:56
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**LINK**

another point of view?

IanR22/10/2016 11:46:39
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Forgot - "not on my watch" used recently in BBC's 3 Musketeers programme and then on their Father Brown series. I mean really, from the writer, through the director to the actor, how did such an anachronism ever get broadcast.

I think these americanisms are fine, in America. But why should our broadcasters and politicians use them? Can't they find the right words in english english. I think they think they're "with it" if they use these words and phrases. Pathetic.

Ian

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