Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What happened to it?

What happened to the English language?

Every day I understand it less. Until recently I was OK listening to the news and weather forecast but now they are changing too.

I work at an educational institute and spend a certain amount of time every day trying to interpret the fancy words I read into plain English with the thought, "What does all this crap mean?"

Why does no-one say what they mean in plain and simple words?

What has pulled my chain just now was hearing the newsreader announce, "It is now thought there may be an element of criminality behind the disappearance of the child."

What the hell is an element of criminality?

Anyone care to tell me what they think?


  1. I agree Pauline. I think people are full of crap. They use longer words to make themselves sound more intellectual. Why couldn't the news caster have said possible abduction or kidnapping?

    Then there are the people on the other spectrum who are so used to texting that every single word is an abbreviation. One of my best friends irritates the hell out of me. Just tonight she wrote, I B On Me Own If I Do!!!
    ...CCJK-R B Immobile After This...
    ...I Did Get a Pedicure w/Her Sunday!!!

    That drives me insane!

  2. Your post is great and I agree fully.

    I think there's a lot of 'spin' out there too. They have to word play to say what they want to convey regardless of reality.

  3. I agree with you - the use of the English language has been bombarded with writers trying to be creative, but falling fall short. I agree with JarieLyn - I think they are trying to sound more intellectual.

    Thank you for the nice comment you left on my blog.

  4. The clown probably meant to say 'Criminal element'.

  5. Adrian, I'd be a bit comforted if I thought that, but no, I heard it again on the 7 o'clock news, the 8 o'clock news, and the 9 o'clock news. Wouldn't you think one newsreader would have a few clues and refuse to repeat it?

    JarieLyn, don't get me going about text speak!! That's something else that gets up my nose, although I'm guilty and use it myself when I'm texting.

  6. Oh, agreed! Having worked in/with large companies, am horrified by the takeover of Orwellian 'managementspeak', which manages to say not very much in portentous - & often euphemistic - terms! Its influence has spread.
    Then there is the humble apostrophe, misuse thereof ... and infer/imply and ... aaargh!


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