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Anything strike you as odd about this sentence?


woolybanana

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[:-))] What a thought!  Although nobody could replace him.  What is more, he always knew he was correct, which helped when criticising others.  I, on  the other hand, can neither spell nor punctuate, so in the interests of the glass house within which I live.....
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It's OK, I count Dick as a friend, so it's good to confirm that he would be definitely, categorically and emphatically correct (how's that for tautology?).

'Personnel', although a singular noun, always refers to a body of employees or a body involved in, as in this example, military service. You can't have one personnel. If in doubt try replacing the word 'personnel' in the sentence with 'people'. "One Royal Navy people has..." is obviously nonsense, so the BBC is wrong again.

Frankly I despair about current grammar and usage. Not only the BBC, but the Times, the Telegraph, all come out with similar errors. Maybe Britain needs a Loi Toubon to preserve the correct use of the English language...

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And I read that as "Lol" Toubon!

I get shouted down by OH when I protest about bad English on the TV.

I keep being told that language is a living thing which changes all the time.

And that I am a nitpicking old fogey, making a fuss about nothing.

Grrrrrrr!
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One of my mothers carers sometimes has occasion to phone, she always says 'Sorry to distub'  which I thought was quite sweet and  I kind of put down to English not being her first language, however today I heard someone on the BBC say the same thing.

Shouldn't it be 'Sorry to disturb you/one/him/ her ?'

Is it me ? [6]

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Of course language constantly evolves, otherwise we'd be stuck somewhere in the 17th century or earlier and be unable to describe so many aspects of present-day life. Unfortunately that's all-too-often an excuse trotted out for carelessness or ignorance. Grammar evolves too; there are a few pedants who hang on to the old rules they were taught about split infinitives or starting a sentence with a conjunction. In their eyes, to do so is still wrong. But these 'errors' of yesteryear are now widely accepted, because they help with clear, concise sentence contruction.

On the other hand, things like misusing collective nouns, or other common errors like writing 'different to' rather than 'different from' contribute nothing to clarity or simplicity. Quite the opposite in fact. When publications go to the trouble of producing their own style guides (such as the Times, and the BBC) then to my mind the writers/sub-editors or presenters are guilty of laziness (if not ignorance) when they fail to follow that style.

Edit: RH - I suppose that is an example of how language may evolve. I'm not saying your example is text-book English, but a verb doesn't always need an object, and the meaning in this context is clear and unambiguous without the 'you'. It may sound wrong to present-day ears, but could well be acceptable to the next generation of English speakers. Of course, in some cases the object may be needed to make the meaning clear, so then it should be included.

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I remember reading a piece by Julian Barnes about writing for the New Yorker, and how "fussy" they are on  the subjects of grammar, spelling and punctuation.  It seemed sad to me at the time, and still does, that an American popular medium - albeit a bastion of the arts - should still set a standard which the publicly-owned British one no longer adheres to.

Like you, Bubbles, I get very angry at some of the stuff I read and hear in the media but I feel increasingly alone in this.  Whilst, of course, I would prefer people to express their ideas openly than to be too shy to do so because they are afraid of being criticised for the way in which they present them, I still believe that the media - the instrument  by which most people receive their information - should have some duty of care as to the way in it uses our language.

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[quote user="Russethouse"]

One of my mothers carers sometimes has occasion to phone, she always says 'Sorry to distub'  which I thought was quite sweet and  I kind of put down to English not being her first language, however today I heard someone on the BBC say the same thing.

Shouldn't it be 'Sorry to disturb you/one/him/ her ?'

Is it me ? [6]

[/quote]"Bless," is another one of those which really winds me up, R/H.
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 'Enjoy' winds me up.  And why doesn't anyone use 'from' anymore.  Why is it always 'off'' as in 'I got it off my brother'. I think the english language must have evolved at the speed of light during the last twenty years since I have been in France as I can hardly understand anyone under thirty anymore[Www]

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Coops, Both American spelling and punctuation differ from ours. The Quimper Club Journal which I edit (hard as that is to believe)has volunteer proof readers from both countries so now we have agreed that an article must be consistently American  English or UK English all the way through.

One thing that annoys me is Julie Walters telling people things are available 'in branch' It sounded so much better, to my ears at least, when people said 'in your local branch' or 'the branch' etc......sorry I'm in grumpy old woman mode ![6]

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One of the things that really annoys me is when I hear, or even worst of all read, "could of " instead of  "could have".

I don't pretend to have a good command of English grammar etc, so I do make mistakes. I'm now waiting for someone to correct me.

Grumpy old woman etc.[:)]

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Glad to see other people are also irritated by the same things that irritate me.[:)] Still trying to work out when a railway station changed to train station.  I suppose being grumpy is one of the compensations for being older[:D]
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Almost all of things which people have mentioned here as irritating irritate me too. Having said that, I know that I make mistakes and so I'm reluctant to correct others.

While we're on the subject of the BBC another annoying thing they do is where there is an American alternative, that is the one used. I can't think of a specific example at the moment except to say that there were several things in Downton Abbey which jarred on my ear.

When I corrected my ten-year-old grand-daughter for saying "different to" instead of "different from, she told me that no-one bothers about that stuff anymore.

Maybe we should form a club for nit-picking old fogeys.

Hoddy
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[quote user="britgirl"]

One of the things that really annoys me is when I hear, or even worst of all read, "could of " instead of  "could have".

[/quote]

When I was teaching undergraduates, an assignment containing this construction would be downgraded. I always included in my assessment criteria "acceptable English grammar and spelling"  - that was not acceptable to me!

One "politically correct" practice that annoys me is "gender free" language when a situation can only refer to one sex. For example, the use of  "they" instead of "he" when referring to someone with, say, prostate cancer.

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