Why don’t them people speak proper?

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These days, you can’t even take a leisurely trip into town without being scarred by the various sights of the abuse of the English Language. Everywhere you look, on billboards, posters, restaurant menus and pretty much anything else with words, there are grammar faults that could turn your stomach.   Unfortunately, for a lot of people these days, spelling and grammar are optional. To them, it doesn’t matter if you “loose a bet”, or if you can’t find anywhere for some “piece and quite”, as long as the message gets across. To me, well, I just have one thing to say to them, to those people selling “printer’s” in the village and those people who are distributing their “menu’s” with the slogan that makes it very clear that “once you hear your friends raving about us, you’ll wish you would of come”. What exactly it is that I would tell them is far too discourteous and spiteful to consolidate in ink; so that I’ll leave to your imagination.   There are numerous things wrong with our language. I could pick most of them and take you on a bumpy ride through rant-ville, but for now, I will just reveal my biggest pet hate. The abuse of my dear friend; that little speck on the page that gets so much use in all the wrong places at all the wrong times: the apostrophe. I may be exaggerating slightly, but misuse of the apostrophe makes me feel a tad sick. I can, reluctantly and with the correct prescribed pills, put up with people missing the apostrophe out of things like shop names, like “Abduls” (even though it should be Abdul’s, seeing as it’s his kebab house, no?), but what utterly confounds me and gets my blood pressure close to hypertension level is when people decide that they want to use my little friend to signify pluralisation. I walked past a pub last week and had a look at the chalkboard sitting on the pavement outside and genuinely winced when I saw the following:   Monday’s – Karaoke night! Tuesday’s – Pub quiz starting at 8pm Wednesday’s – Drinks for quid’s! Thursday’s… Friday’s… Saturday’s… Sunday’s…   Why they felt the need to go to all the extra effort and stick an apostrophe in there, I will never know. If you’re going to act all smug and show off your apostrophe usage, at least check it’s correct! Proper use of the English language, without a doubt, shows education, professionalism and intelligence. A boy who sends me a text or email with “hope you’re having a good night” will immediately become more attractive to me than a perhaps more aesthetically pleasing boy who says “hope your having a good night”, which would probably make me gag.   It does make me feel slightly better to realise that I am not alone. A group on Facebook called ‘The British Grammar Nazis’ has acclaimed 31, 622 members, all of which take part in shooting down the “imbeciles” who cannot use the English Language properly. I can only hope that they come up with some sort of plan to create a law that states that people who abuse English should be treated as harshly as those who vandalise property.   The heart want’s what it want’s.

  • Anonymous

    My sentiments exactly! Whilst in The Lakes recently, we came across a pub with “Walker’s Bar” written in huge letters over the door. The barman was very confused when I asked him whether we had to go in one at a time…

    Just one point I’d like to make, and that is about your use of the word ‘acclaimed': ‘to acclaim’ means to ‘praise publicly'; I think perhaps you meant ‘amassed’, or ‘attracted’ – unless, of course, you meant ‘31,622 acclaimed members’! 

    Just a tiny little error in an otherwise very well-written article; well done!