Episode 449: Broken English.

Now I am quite an old-fashioned, traditional woman as some of you might have noticed. I am also partial to using some out-dated words or phrases as we have such a rich and beautiful language. It is a shame to let them disappear into the mists of time, shrivelling up with lack of use.

I have noticed something disturbing over the years however, that has become more prevalent as technology advances and the world becomes smaller. The fact that I have a young daughter who likes to keep up with the latest fads and trends, also brings this home to me, and I don’t like it one bit.

I may not be the best at writing, I understand that my grammar leaves a lot to be desired at times, and I am careless and shoddy with my proofreading (I know, being the Typo Queen is not something to be proud of). However I do try to make sure that I at least make some use of the language that I was brought up with. I am proud of being English and as such become very annoyed that my mother-tongue is being messed about with, chopped up and put in a blender, and coming out with chunks in it that I am unfamiliar with!

Now, I do not wish to offend anyone at all, this is my opinion, and being a bit of an old ‘stick in the mud’ I like the language just the way it is, thank you very much.

To illustrate my point, here are a few examples

Text Talk WTF??? (See, I can do some of the trendy abbreviations). You will probably not be surprised to know that when I text someone, I write the whole lot out in full, complete with punctuation. I know, I am extremely uncool. (but I do love a smiley face) but I hate all of this cul8tr stuff. I mean, what the hell is that? The first time I saw it I tired to read it as a word, thinking it was ‘culture’ and that someone has pressed the 8 by mistake and did it in a hurry, (Something I am always guilty of).

All these abbreviations are fine,(if you can understand them), but I do worry that our kids are losing the art of writing. I remember when I was at school we had to learn how to write all the different types of letters, using the appropriate greeting and how to sign off, which I am not sure they still teach, despite the fact that letters do still need to be written on occasion.

The other thing I get annoyed about, is nicking words from other languages when we have perfectly good ones of our own! Miss Hap does it all the time (she knows it annoys me)

“Mum, have you got any Bobby pins?”

“What? Oh, you mean hair grips”!


Trash/garbage- rubbish

Cotton candy – candy floss

Gotten – got

You get the idea. Or calling each other ‘bruv!’ I am not your bloody bruv, nor am I your ‘mate!’

I know I am getting to be an ‘Old Codger’ but I can’t help it. Is it just me or does it wind you up that written language is becoming so informal and casual?

69 thoughts on “Episode 449: Broken English.

  1. Oh I am with you Edwina, so, so with you. The thing is, I lived in California for almost 20 years and I do sometimes forget what is British and American and to this day, I might use American expressions which someone will pick up on, and I honestly have no idea what I’ve just said! I have to be careful with that when I’m writing. But things are moving so fast that I have lost track. For instance, did you know that you can’t say ‘I’ll hook up with you later’ anymore? It doesn’t mean what it used to, let me tell you! But text speak I detest. And even my kids (32, 26 and 23) don’t use it, thank goodness. Guess they’re ‘old school’ already, ha! I’m amazed that British kids use the expressions you list above. I only ever heard those when I lived in the States. Nobody knew what I meant when I said Candy Floss! I blame American TV and movies – sorry, films, LOL!! And on that note, I can only say thanks for this excellent post and I’ll BRB 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha Ha! Sherri , I loved your comments. It must be tricky for you having lived in America and using both types of English whilst taking and writing, Confusing for anyone. I am not against American, Australian or Canadian English at all, in fact I like the fact that we all have our own take on it. What I am against though, is it all meshing into one, and we lose what makes us individuals. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whew, Edwina….lots of feedback on this one….guess you got people wound up. And yes, I do get annoyed with the casual abuses of the English language….that said, that chart up there is hilarious! Do love that. Actually thinking of giving it to my mother…..it would help her keep up with her grandchildren! LOL>

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess youngsters get used to seeing things like CUL8TR and btdt but there are probably some, like LOL, which could have more than one meaning and be confusing. I had to look up CUL8TR – surely it should have at least one space in there somewhere, oh no I forgot, rules go out the window when we start to text! Like you I am very longhand in my texts and a stickler for grammar and punctuation. It’s true that language does evolve but we still need to be able to understand it! And we need to be able to make sense of the written word.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m with you 100%. My niece sends me text messages and it takes me hours (if not days) trying to work out what she has said.

    “Wouldn’t it be better to just pick up the phone and tell me what you are saying?” I ask.

    But no, she wants to text me instead as “using the phone is so uncool.”

    “So using the phone is hot then?” I ask.

    “No, it’s just so uncool” is her response!

    I thought the opposite of uncool was hot, but it seems not.

    Don’t get me started on the chips/crisps argument. Let’s just say that I like salt and vinegar on both, and that they are two entirely different types of food.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha Ha! Thanks for the support Hugh. I know I am a bit of a dinosaur, but I agree with the fact that sometimes it is so much nicer to chat rather than text. I also like us to keep our own words, not nick others. otherwise, English will become too generic. and we won’t have any identity.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m of the let it develop school. English has always been the singularly most adaptable language, posbibly after Indonesian apparently – who knew? Unlike the French and their Academie Francais. I enjoy keeping old words going but also enjoy seeing my kids take, say, pukka and give it a make over. Text speak isn’t for me but I just see it as code, like computer code. All that said I utterly detest the overuse of L*L – I can’t bring myself to spell it out. So I’m a hypocrite. I find that is the most comfortable place to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I know I am a hypocrite as well as English has evolved through the combination of many other languages. I quite like ‘pukka’ as well, but I suppose I just worry that eventually all English will sound the same and we lose our identities.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh dear… I might have called you “mate” becoz it’s an Aussie term of endearment…sorry if it offended.
    One of the subjects I taught at uni was ” Construction of the English Language” another was “Language in Context” ( which involved teaching the kids the difference between academic and workplace writing, and formal/ informal etc… Most of them were studying journalism!) so I understand where you’re coming from.
    I don’t share your views about language use but I think you’re spot- on when you say it’s about language and identity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not at all offended by you calling me ‘mate’ as I know you use it as a term of endearment, I just don’t like it when young people call me it over here! I think formal English does still need to be taught in schools and uni as it is still important.
      I am a bit of an old fuddy-duddy but I do like to keep my sense of identity 🙂


  7. Not only do I use full words in texts, I also use semi-colons and commas! But I do like to add the appropriate emoticon. Like you, I have a deep love of language, especially the rarely used words. I think I have a fairly good grasp of grammar, although I often flagrantly disregard it in the name of Style… The Kid often talks of going to the store. When I asked him to come off XBox he said, “Gotta go guys. stuff to do IRL” Had to Google that one! I don’t mind some of casual infiltration of language, it’s fine in chat. I also think it’s important to hang on to the language of dialect – and make a point of peppering my talk with words which often say it better than simple English.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was having a similar conversation with my daughter not too long ago in what she calls one of my old fart moan phases. I gave the reasons pretty much as you did when she shut me up by asking if my parents had a similar conversation with me if the 50’s, 60’s. I don’t remember ( one of the benefits of age) but I dare say they did. I must have picked up a lot of new language at that time like’ hip cat’ ( yes really).
    Language evolves to suit the young who develop it and we just fight to retain ours as long as we can. I’d like to see ours remembered in school lessons even if it isn’t retained because of compuspeak and texttalk today.
    xxx Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was totally the same. But since we have lots of capital letters in German I got lazy and write everything with small letters. But anything else like punctuation I to also. I too have a hard time understanding English combined with numbers. I understand “4 u” for example. But I am getting confused when numbers and letters are combined.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m not crazy about text abbreviations but I enjoy the ever changing language age we’re into. I love learning new words that describe old things and then confusing some people when I use them. And I love hearing someone from England speak and use words to describe things that are so different than here in the states. I remember being in England several years ago, staying at a B&B in Chipping Camden and having a ball at breakfast asking for explanations to certain words😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My pops spent the last few years texting lol as in lots of love, not laugh out loud.
    We found it quite endearing, and didn’t correct him, until he was signing off a message to let people know of the passing away of someone… Then I had to let him know!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I do use LOL, or lol ( if I am not laughing too loud), but I usually don’t understand many others. Recently I had to ask a friend what btdt meant (been there done that), and my husband and I had to look up BOGO (buy one get one).
    Geesh – I kinda wish texting would become passe and talking on the phone would ramp up again – imho!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That’s one of the many things I don’t like about getting older, not knowing the new speak the kids use. You’re lucky to still have a young one around to keep you current. My kids are all past 30, so not much help with that anymore.

    Language has always changed and always will. That’s why we need help reading Chaucer and Shakespeare.

    I do see your point about keeping some of the distinctly English words, though. As a Canadian, I get a kick out of the different expressions you guys use. My guess is that you don’t have to worry, England’s English will always be it’s own although the words themselves may change.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to turn this into a lecture.

    BTW, I was talking to a friend yesterday who was complaining about a recent visit to the States where the sales people responded to my friend’s “Thank You” with, “Uh-huh. ” she was appalled and wondered what ever happened to saying, “Your Welcome “. I almost never hear “Your Welcome ” anymore. It has been replaced by, “No Problem “.
    That kind of thing doesn’t bother me too much. The way things are going you’re lucky if someone replies to your “Thank You ” at all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right on so many points. Yes language will always change and evolve and of course English is made up of so many different languages to begin with. I suppose I just don’t want us to lose our British identity.
      I am appalled that people can barely acknowledge a ‘thank you’ anymore. I must be getting old!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m turning 60 in September, so, I am old. I think I’ll look forward to 70. That’s about the age they let you get away with being a crabby, impolite pain in the butt, I hope. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I read your post and had a chuckle because I have no idea what that cul8tr is I thought culture??? But all the other words you were talking about are the ones we use in Canada and I laughed because to me the words you use are British and I would never use them as people would right away ask if I was from England. Love culture.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I use LOL and OMG and WTF pretty regularly. However, I have friends who text like this: S still sick? She VB a/s? T can’t cm Indy this wknd cuz work. We nd to plan next wknd before RT sts agn. Luv u xo
    My mother likes to use all kindsa abbreviations I don’t even know what they are. Sometimes I Google, mostly I just call.
    I know all the rules and break them anyway. I think the best people are the people we can understand and relate to regardless. You’re easy to read and relate to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did manage to understand some of that text so i am impressed with myself. I know I break the rules of grammar all of the time, I think I am just more concerned that we will lose some of the old words and sayings, that are very British, as we evolve. I like it that every country has their own idioms and feel it would be sad to lose that if we all spoke the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I rather like the ongoing evolution of language, but I am not keen on text-speak at the best of times, and really hate hearing it actually spoken! I’m not even sure how they manage that…
    I love the language though, and the old words that are, sadly, disappearing.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. As long as it is used in the proper time and place, I do not mind some of the abbreviations. As far as borrowing from other languages, you must remember that even in the UK, many of the words used come from other places. However, in essay writing or more formal situations, I think that casual language use is inappropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

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