Friday, September 16, 2005

Very Bad Language

One of our local radio stations - 630CHED - provides a service which offers "guaranteed weather". I am not sure what happens if they get it wrong - I assume we all can then ask them not to broadcast something, like Elton John or Planet Zorro, but it seems to me an interesting use of the language.

Another use of the language which is both interesting and annoying is the use of the term "antiquing" as in "I think I will go antiquing today" - when a person intends to visit several antique shops and possibly buy some old knick knack. An equally offensive term is "malling", conveying the intention to shop at one or more shopping malls (Edmonton, my home, has one of the world's largest shopping malls - West Edmonton Mall).

These kinds of usage are common here. There was a recent BBC radio program involving some Australian english scholar - Profesor Kate Burridge of Monash University - which suggested that these kinds of developments are part of the natural evolution of the language. Well, I am sorry to say that I dont think they are.

Lets go further. Young people have a habit of saying "you know" as a breath taker when speaking, as in "then Jack said, you know, that he wanted to go antiquing, you know, but I said well, you know, I'd rather go malling". I dont like this.

Nor do I like it when people dont even try to make the "th" sound for such words like "bother" (becomes bovver) or "think" (becomes "fink"). As a Yorkshireman, my abilities with the english language seem genetically limited, but at least the sound "th" seems manageable to me.

Another word that gets some attention these days is "innit", in widespread use amongst the young and ungainly. It used in different ways, as in "'ey, good thing what England won the ashes innit" and "it aint right innit". Nor do I like "or sumfing", which British teenagers use a lot.

I guess this is another indication that I am getting old. I'll be complaining about the music next - too loud and cant make out the lyrics.


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