Sunday, 10 April 2011

Latest rant - standard of English again I'm afraid.

While living in Bangkok this sort of letter was very popular with the ex-pat community. It seems I've now turned into Victor Meldrum in England too. Below is a letter published in the 'The Press' , York's answer to the Bangkok Post.

Further to the letter from Mrs A Chelton of Wednesday 6th April I write to further bemoan the falling standards of English in the UK.

I worked for 12 years or so in South East Asia, returning to England about two years ago. I have been wondering where the ability to use reported speech has gone in the intervening years. When I left people used: said, replied, asked, commented, etc. On my return It seems the whole country uses a single, all-purpose word – like. I overheard on the bus to town last week the following by way of illustration.

“I seen her do it and I'm like “Get out of here” and she's like “I know, it's good int it?”

When I left, the acceptable way to order a drink was: Can I have … ? We now appear to be extras from Friends and ask: Can I get … ?

It's not a dictionary I need, more a phrasebook. I don't know whether to blame teachers or television but I do know I don't like the new English my ears are assaulted with each day.

More to come, I have noticed several large potholes at the end of our street...

1 comment:

Rachel Cotterill said...

It's funny how little you notice these things when you live through the evolution of language day-by-day... coming back to hear your native tongue changed must be a shock!