Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bad Language

Bad language drives me mad. I'm not talking about swearing; that does bother me too but I'll save that for another post, no, what I'm talking about is poor use of the English language.
The butchery of words.
Here are some of my pet hates:

1. Like! The mindless insertion of the word "like" ad nauseum. This is like mostly perpetrated by like kids and like teenagers who haven't like learnt to like speak properly etc etc
To quote an infamous language mangler, "I don't like it", thank you Pauline.

2. I mean. By this I mean those people who insert the phrase "I mean" continually into their speech. What do they mean? I don't want to be mean but it means nothing and is very irritating, especially when repeated by sports commentators. The late George Grulesjich fell into this bad habit late in his career and every sentence he uttered was prefixed with "I mean" then liberally sprinkled thereafter.

3. Probly. Australians like to shorten names and words but the complete removal of the middle syllable of this commonly used word is a national pasttime. Please add the "ab", that would be fab!

4. Proply. "er" See above.

5. Satday. Apparently this is the day of the week that falls between Friday and Sunday and perhaps because neither of these days saw fit to have a middle syllable it has been excommunicated from the first day of the weekend. There's an "ur" in the middle of the word. This may come as a surprise to many as it is very seldom used these days, but I assure you, it lives in the middle of the word.
To further exacerbate the problem, many people truncate the word even more, reducing it to "Satdy". aaaghh!

6. Everythink and its cousins, somethink and nothink. I am waiting for the day when Oxford and Webster et al are forced to include these bastardizations as "words" in the dictionary based on their common usage. The prevalence of these mispronunciations is so widespread as to be alarming. A former high school principal I know was often heard to utter "somethink" and "everythink".
Just in case you don't know what I'm talking about, these words end in the letter "g". There is no "k", either in the spelling or the pronunciation! OK?

7. eckcetra. Not so common but just as inaccurate is the mispronunciation of the abbreviation we read as "etc" which when said correctly is "et cetera" meaning literally "and so on".
Where the 'eck the "eck" came from I don't know, perhaps the same place as the next word on my list...

8. Ongions. I was reminded of this one the other day while buying fruit and vegetables at Woolies. A woman said to her partner, "Do we need 'ongions' for the BBQ?" It can be tricky I know; as a kid I thought there was a "g" in the name of this vegetable, but on closer examination, I discovered there wasn't, and there still isn't, and the unnecessary insertion of it is enough to bring me to tears.

9. Bought/brought. After I had "bought" my groceries I "brought" them home. The former refers to the purchasing, the latter refers to the transporting, they are not the same, they are not inter-changeable despite the overwhelming majority of people who use them in exactly that way.

10. Allbut. This is an unusual offence, committed primarily by Ken Judge on Saturday morning Sports Talk on ABC radio. He means to say "albeit" but I suspect Mr Judge skipped english class the day this particular word was taught. His fellow commentators obviously don't feel the need to enlighten or educate him but I have felt sorely tempted to ring in one day and explain the finer workings of the english language to him. It seems to me that if you are being paid to broadcast on the radio the least you could do is learn to use the language correctly.

11. Fremandle. This is another colloquialism restricted mainly to the domain of football commentators, the substitution of a "d" for the "t" in the name Fremantle. This annoying trend tends to spread its tentacles to sweep up unsuspecting victims such as "Nick Dal Sando" as well.

There are others that get up my nose, and possibly yours too, "like" "you know" "basically" words that aren't wrong just massively over-used.
Maybe there are some that annoy you that I haven't heard or don't notice.
Feel free to add to the list of "Bad Language" via "comments".


Anonymous said...

Were you like havink a bad day. I mean you sound like you were havink a bit of a rant.
Probly just tired.
Never mind you should catch up your sleep by Satday and everythink will be like really fine!
Dave @ BSHS

Zaac said...

saw that comingk

Anonymous said...

Amen to all of that Marcus - the "somethink" etc really gets to me as does "ongions" or its cousin "Pungkin."


Peter said...

You forgot vunerable Marcus.

The HoJo's said...


to name but a few