CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

All hope for the English language is lost

The Telegraph asked people which phrases or expressions frustrate their readers the most and, of course, their readers replied.

And, I can confirm that all is lost because as one comment says, "But --- if that word 'gotten', which an American friend once told me you will not find in any dictionary, gets into Britain then all is lost." OK, I may not be in Britian, but I am still British and I know I regularly use this word.

Actually, (she says in an Estuary English accent, annoying by itself), I've probably used each and every one of those annoying phrases, misuses, Americanizms and cliches at one time or another, even though some of them are, well, lame. Some don't sound too bad with a hint of drawl, but become pathetically laughable in some regional British accent.

And, yes, the same bastardization is happening to Spanish too.

Or, you might say that these languages are alive and growing. Personally, I prefer the latter view, even if it keeps me on my toes to keep up.

In truth, mostly I don't really keep up and half the time, I forget which side of the Atlantic whichever slang expression originated.

But people seem to forget how much English has changed already.

The English of Tudor times, would probably be hardly understood at all today. The language in the late 17th Century, as in Pepys Diary reads really curiously now, or listen to the 18th Century English in Jane Austen's, Pride and Prejudice.

Folk would find the new terms that have insinuated themselves into the English language "insuportable". That's OK to me, since the word in Spanish is still, insuportable, but imagine how awkward and convoluted "Old English" would sound now. Maybe worse than American verbiage at this moment in time!

What is the most annoying phrase in the English language?

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