Sunday, 11 October 2015

Has English evolved and someone forgot to tell me....?

Ok, I may get a bit of flack for this post, but...... this is my Blog and I'll moan if I want to.....Sing it to me (in the tune of "It's my Party and I'll cry if I want to).  So, sit back, get strapped in and pile on all the protective gear you can find, because this is going to get hairy and scary, so you'll need a thick skin for this post.

I am very aware that language evolves and changes throughout time.  We see that with our wonderful teachings at school in our History, English and Drama classes.....No-one is speaking Shakespearean any more, that's for sure.  And yes the English language is a very complex beast with differences in our accents and even different words meaning different things in different places and we all have regional dialects.  That's all lovely and completely forgiveable in my opinion.  For example, I'm from Northern Ireland which has a particularly unique strain of the English language all of it's own.  Yes, you may need subtitles as we tend to speak incredibly fast, but we also have a language of our own within the English language itself, again, its down to regional dialect.  For instance, say two young gentlemen, who happen to be friends come across one another on the street, this is how the conversation might go...

Sean:  "Well, whatabout ye big lad.  How's she cuttin'?
Translation:  Hello there dear boy, how are you?

Patrick:  "Aye, dead on big fella.  what's the craic with you? 
Translation:  I'm fine thank you my friend, and how are you?

Sean:  "Ack, nothin' much.  I had a bad dose of the flu there last week and it wrecked me.  I was weak as a kitten.  And now my car is banjaxed.  And because the car is knackered I told our Sadie she had to walk to school.  She ended up jippin' aff school.  The school ended up callin' me and slaggin' aff my parenting skills.  I was scundered.  I ate the head aff our Sadie."
Translation:  There is not a great deal happening.  I took a bad flu last week that had me very ill.  I was left rather weak.  And then my car broke down.  And because the car was no longer in working order, I had to inform my daughter, Sadie, that she'd have to walk to school.  She then proceeded to skip school without permission.  The school telephoned me and criticised my parenting skills.  I was so embarrassed.  I greatly chastised our daughter, Sadie.

Patrick:  "Jesus Sean, that's khyet.  Your Sadie is a wee chancer.  Do you want me to take a gander at your car?"
Translate:  My goodness Sean, that is terrible.  Sadie would try anything once.  Would you like me to have a look at your car to try and fix it?

Sean:  "That would be great Patrick.  Cheers big lad."
Translate:  Why thank you Patrick that would be wonderful.

Patrick:  "That's dead on, no bother.  Sure, I'll crack on here.  I'll take a wee gander at your car some time this week."
Translate:  That is fine, it's no bother at all.  I must go now.  I will have a look at your car this week.

Sean:  "Dead on big man.  Keep her handy".
Translate:  Brilliant, thank you.  Take care.

So there you have it.  Just a quick little titbit as to how a conversation might go in my neck of the woods, so to speak.  But as that is regional dialect, I think it can more than be forgiven for its strange language.  However, it feels to me that there has yet again been a major shift in the English Language and someone subsequently forgot to tell me.  I am a big fan of YouTube.  I even have my own channel should you be brave enough to tackle my accent (it is coined with my craft blog, not this particular blog.  Click here if you want a nosey).  And with watching various YouTuber's who just so happen to herald from all over the world I have happened upon a great many anomalies in the use of certain words.  Now, I can't blame these anomalies on non-native English speakers because those that are using these words are mostly English, American or Canadian.  I am not mentioning any of the offenders as I am not in the business of calling people out.  This blog is meant to be a humorous place to drop in on......not a tell tale blog.  I am no snitch, lol.  In any event, here are some of the words and phrases that when I first heard them, I paused the video, went back, re-played it for clarification, and then attempted the pull my dropped jaw from the floor in complete and utter disbelief.

Have you ever heard something like this?:

 "So, take your ruler and pencil and draw a line acrossed the page", or
"I took my ruler and pencil and drew a line acrossed the page."

Do you see the mistake?  Please tell me you do because I can't be the only person to be completely and utterly stunned by this totally made up word.  Yes, I said made up because there is no such word as ACROSSED!!!  Seriously?  Acrossed?  There is such a word as ACROSS and even CROSSED but there is most definitely no such word as ACROSSED.  What happened?  Did "Across" and "Crossed" bump into one another one day and make "Acrossed" babies because that is the only explanation I have for this word coming to light?  And you may try and say its a regional dialect term but, I can only disagree wholeheartedly.  Simply because I have heard people from all over America and Canada say it.  That's not Regional......that's Continental!!  Therefore this word is forbidden from the "Regional dialect" bucket and is going straight into my "What?  What?  No!" bucket.  I'm sorry America and Canada.....but there is no such word as Acrossed.  And I'm not picking on you guys, honestly I'm not.  I just haven't heard anyone from the UK or Europe or anywhere else worldwide use this term in a video I've come across yet.....or should that be "acrossed", teehee?  But if I ever do......this is the place I will tell you, I promise lol.  So, I think I've cleared this little mishap up.  It's either "Across" or "Crossed" if that's the word you mean and most definitely NOT acrossed.  And just to clarify, the sentence should therefore read:

"So, take your ruler and pencil and draw a line across the page", and 
"I took my ruler and pencil and drew a line across the page."

And don't give off to me and say "Did you read the made up words that you have in your "regional dialect" bucket in the Northern Ireland discussion further up there?  So, how can you point fingers?"  Why yes, I am aware that we have silly words for different things, but they aren't real words that are being incorrectly used.  "Acrossed" has come from two pre-existing words that are being incorrectly pronounced.  The word "Across" and "Crossed" already exist.  And somehow the two have been incorrectly smashed and mashed together for whatever reason and have made this abomination.  So when the word "Acrossed" is used, they in fact actually mean "Across" and aren't using a funny wee made up "regional dialect" word.  They are just incorrectly saying it.....please let it just be a pronunciation error and it's not actually being written that way too (face palm!).

There are so many pre-existing words that are incorrectly pronounced, that there are too many to list but here are a few that I catch being used wrongly on more occasions than not, sadly.  Here we go.....

This one drives me bonkers and it is "Simular".  Yes you read that correctly.....SimUlar.  Not Similar as it should be.  I just don't know what to say about this.  I have heard many people say this word incorrectly, so it's not just a one off.
And here is a big one......EXpresso!!!  I can't forgive this one, sorry.  Not only am I a language snob, but I'm a coffee snob on top of that.  It's ESpresso....for the love of coffee people!
And just before I finish this part of my rant, it not pronounced Nitch!  I don't even know how you get "nitch" from "Niche".  It's pronounced Nee-sh".

Oh Jesus, I can just hear all the ranters and ravers now, shouting furiously at their screens, screaming at me "Who bloody cares how its said?"  Well, frankly, I do!  And only people who use words incorrectly would get that irate at being corrected, in my opinion.  Personally, if I say something wrong, either pronouncing it incorrectly or using the wrong word, I would prefer someone would politely correct me so I know for again to say it right and don't look like a complete tool for eternity.  In fact, my husband and I have promised to always correct each other if one or the other says something wrong.  I think it just makes sense.   But hey, that is just me.

And then there are words that are actual proper words that are correctly pronounced.......but mean a completely different thing altogether.  I could cry just typing these words out for you but, I assure you, I have heard these words being used on YouTube videos, I have read them being used on blogs, comment sections, articles........anywhere and everywhere across the inter-webisphere (and yes, I made that word up..did you catch it?  Teehee). And they are rapidly spreading the world over, infecting our lives from the inside out, spreading like a plague or zombie apocalypse!  And it must be stopped people, STOPPED I tell you!!  Language Snobs of the World UNITE!!  Ok, so that might have been a little dramatic, but I'm feeling like a Drama Queen today, so let me have my moment.  I will again give you some example sentences to see if you notice the faux pas:

"I would be very weary of sites like that."

Really?  Well, I am growing weary of people using this word incorrectly!  It's wary!  WARY!  Are you trying to tell me you are careful and dubious about "sites like that" or are you telling me you are really tired or exhausted by "sites like that"?  Because I am pretty sure you are trying to say the former but instead are using the latter.  And quite frankly, I am growing weary of its misuse.

Here is another example and I must admit, I mostly hear this one being incorrectly used in the UK.  Particularly English and Scottish people.  I have yet to hear a Northern Ireland person use this particular word incorrectly or a Welsh person either.  But then again, I am not saying there aren't those who use it this way.  I am merely saying that I have yet to come across them.  So no bitching please.  I can only comment on what I have access to, ok?  My eyes and ears aren't everywhere.

"At the craft shop today, I brought loads of scrapbook paper."

Now, I am sure you caught this one? Please tell me you caught it.  Brought?  "Brought" is the past tense of "To bring".  And "Bought" is the past tense of "To Buy".  Therefore when you buy something and are using it in the past tense, you BOUGHT it.  You did not "bring" it.  If I was to ask you the question that yielded the above statement as an answer, it would have sounded ridiculously like this:

"What did you bring at the Craft Shop today?"  And it's very obvious from that question that "Bring" is not the correct word which has a past tense of "Brought".  What I should have asked was:

"What did you buy at the Craft Shop today?"  And the answer would be:

"At the craft shop today, I bought loads of scrapbook paper."

And if I buy something from your shop, I am most definitely a Customer and NOT a Costumer as so many numpties are saying.  Yes, I'm getting annoyed now.  Can you tell?

And don't forget the words that already are words, that are used correctly, but just said completely wrong!  Like HEIGHT.  I am stunned by the amount of people who pronounce height with a TH at the end.  So they say height the same way as you say width.  But its not TH at the end, its HT!!  And then there are names like a particularly popular Craft Paper Line that came out a couple of years ago by DoCrafts, called "Madame Payraud".  The amount of people that say that wrong, is well, everyone I've ever heard say it actually.  Don't say it like you see it, in this instance people.  Its actually pronounced;

Madame Payraud.......Madame Pay-row.  I know.....mind blowing isn't it?  That was a rhetorical question of course with a little bit, ok, a lathering of sarcasm, lol.  Now I knew how to pronounce this name so it was never an issue for me.  But if you didn't, you can actually Google "How to Pronounce......such and such a word, and in most instances there will be a little speaker sitting there ready for you to click and hear how a word should be said.  That is of course if you wish to know how something is pronounced properly.

Ps....Rondelle (a jewellery embellishment) pronounced.....Ron dell.
Don't use Then when you actually mean Than, eg, I spent more Than I should have, and NOT THEN.
And here's one for the Northern Ireland people ......I done that NOT correct!  It's, I did that already!  And I've went there before, is actually I've gone there before!!!  Come on Northern Ireland-----you're letting the side down.  I watched Grand Designs recently with a couple from Northern Ireland and I wanted to shake the guy and kick him up the arse for using "Done" incorrectly!  And he was an educated guy who was an architect.  He should know better.  See?  Us Northern Irelander's get it wrong too.

So, I think we have established that I am indeed a language snob.  I can forgive regional dialect because I am aware that language is an ever evolving beast.  New words will inevitably come up and land themselves into the English Dictionary......whether I like it or not.  However, I cannot stand words being used incorrectly or perfectly good words being butchered.  I also cannot abide bad grammar.  Ask my good buddy Dave.....or Ravey Davey as I affectionately call him.  That poor fella can't get a sentence out without me butting in and correcting his use of "Did" and "Done" , "Went" and "Gone".  And bless his wee biker socks, he curses under his breath (sometimes not so under his breath), takes my correcting of his grammar on the chin, repeats the proper word and carries on with what he was saying.  Only to be interrupted again by me correcting more grammatical errors.  But it has become a bit of a running joke now.  He says something wrong, I correct him, he curses at me and corrects himself.  Mind you, how he hasn't hit me over the head with his motor cycle helmet and buried me in his back garden is beyond me.  Now that is a sign of a good friend, lol.

And I am not saying that people aren't forgiven for making mistakes.  I make mistakes too.....I know, hard to believe, lol.  I'm only jesting, of course I get words wrong and make mistakes. Goodness knows how many are in this lengthy blog post.  My mind races quicker than my typing can keep up so that is usually my downfall, silly mistakes and errors.  I think the difference is knowing when you've made the mistake and correcting it or making the mistake and carrying on regardless because you don't actually know you've made the mistake in the first place.   In all seriousness, (yes I know, I can be serious sometimes),  I think as a world of highly educated people we have become very lazy with our language.  We allow auto correct to do the heavy lifting for us so we don't even bother to learn the word or spelling.   And yes, in comparison to early Neolithic people or Mediaeval people, of course we are highly educated people now.  And I for one do not take that for granted.  "We" as modern human beings have become lazy with our language.  And considering the wealth of knowledge at our finger tips with access to the Internet, I think it is a crime that we have become so lazy.  If you don't know a word, look it up.  You'll have your answer within seconds when you do a search on the internet.  Don't know how to pronounce a word?  The answer is only a few seconds away on a search engine.  And, if you see something constantly written or said that is not how you say it, ask someone or check online to see if your way is correct or not.  If you say "SimUlar" but you are constantly hearing other people pronounce it as "Similar", surely you are maybe a little curious as to who is right or wrong?  Or is that just me?

I am a big believer that reading breeds intelligence and a greater knowledge and appreciation for language. And I'm not saying everyone should read a classical novel or immerse themselves in Shakespearean prose, particularly as so many of those specific books are far outdated, modern language wise anyway......sorry Mr Kevin Murphy, don't hate me, but they are, lol (Mr Murphy, my A-Level English teacher, bless his scary cotton socks.  And for some reason was always called, Mr Kevin Murphy.  Of course, that was his name.  But students and teachers alike always referred to him and called him by his full name, all the time. So not Kevin or Mr Murphy.  But always, Mr Kevin Murphy. lol)  I'm merely saying read something, anything.  Pick up a book, a novel, a fabulously trashy vampire romance (ahem....I may or may not be guilty of this one); read the paper or a news story or article on your laptop or even listen to an audio book, I don't care.  Just read something.  Reading will give you such a wealth of knowledge without you really realising it.  Obviously there will be a bit of a difference in the type of knowledge you obtain depending on what exactly it is you are reading, lol.  But inevitably, you will learn how words are written, spoken and spelt and reading is the fundamental stepping stone for helping you create and achieve a better understanding of language, grammar etc,.  How can we expect others to learn to speak English if we ourselves do not speak it correctly?  We are so lucky to have a language that spans across our world allowing us to communicate with people thousands of miles away from us.  We are incredibly lucky to be able to lift up a book or a Kindle or Tablet and know what all those thousands of grouped together characters mean, throwing us into the realms of our imaginations or providing us with a wealth of knowledge.  Some people might think "Oh for goodness sake, stop being the Grammar police, its only one word."  But if everyone was to think like that, what state would our language be in, be it written or spoken?  I am very appreciative of the fact that I live in a time and place that gives me the right to a good education.  I cherish my relentless passion for reading and my parents good sense to read to me every night before bed and then sticking a book in my hand when I was able to read myself.  I'm proud to say that they nurtured and encouraged my devotion to reading and always having my head buried in a book even when it meant getting told off because my dinner was getting cold or not hearing them when they called me for the tenth time because I was so engrossed in a good book.   I am not ashamed or embarrassed that I speak properly or accurately write my grammar and spell correctly.  Why should I be?  I am however, ashamed to say that I don't fluently speak French, or Irish, or German or any other language for that matter.  Therefore, I will be as impeccably correct as I can be when speaking and writing the one language I do far as I can help it and my wee fingers can type it.

So, although I ranted and raved about how others are using words incorrectly and how "we" are becoming lazy with language, I am also very aware that language evolves and changes.  That is something that is inevitable.  And can I be forgiven for using "lol" and "teehee" in my sentences to signify humour or is that just wrong?  Is it a sign of language evolution or just bad grammar?  How "we" spoke 100 years ago is different to how we speak now and how we'll speak in another 100 years time.  However, there is a difference between the evolution of a language and the words within a certain language simply being used incorrectly.  And evolving language is not an excuse for being nonchalant in proper word use, I'm afraid.  Sorry, but that just won't cut the mustard, as they say.  Ok, so maybe you think I do not have the right to sit here and dictate to you how you should speak or what words to use (unless your name is Ravey Davey....sorry Dave).  I am not going to be the one to "save the English Language".  Who am I?  I'm just some woman giving off about grammar and proper word use behind the screen of her laptop.  But if you read this and it maybe makes you think about the words you use, how you speak or how your children speak, well then I would be pretty pleased with that.  And if this blog post doesn't touch a single, solitary soul, well then, I know I will try my very best to ensure that I never become lazy with language or grammar.  Because I have been given a gift of education that so many do not get a chance to have.  So, you can call me picky or particular or a language or grammar snob, but I personally will not see that as an insult.  On the contrary, I will take it as a compliment and a sign that I have respect for the language and education I have been given.

And on that note......."Keep 'er handy now, big lad."

Are there any words that are incorrectly used or made up that drives you to distraction?  Let me know down below in the comments.  I'd love to read them.  And if I've made a million and one mistakes in this post.....feel free to pull me up on it, lol.  But I promise was a genuine mistake!  Teehee.  x

Lee xx


  1. Goodness me. How long did it take you to write this? Obviously not on your iPad with predictive text! That's my little moan. I know perfectly well what I want to say. I don't need a programme to predict my thoughts ahead of me. There it has taken ages to write this taking out all the predictive text miss spellings . Hugs Mrs A.

    1. Lol. Hi Mrs A. I know, I went off on one with this post, didn't I, teehee. But I hope my little "Norn Iron dialogue" at the start helped keep it not too serious (although all those things do drive me nuts). It's been a post I've had sitting for ages and I wondered whether I should post it or not. But then I thought "To hell with it, why not". I promise I won't give off in next weeks post, lol. I ctually don't own an ipad Mrs A. In fact, I don't own a tablet at all. I'm way behind the times and still using my laptop.....I'm so old school, teehee. Thanks for always commenting. I really do appreciate it. Lee xx

  2. Since the english language has so many different spelling of words like were, wear, and where, for someone from another country learning english to see these made up words must be very confusing. (As if it isn't confusing enough already).


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