Now that I’m over 60, I can legitimately exercise my right to indulge in the tyranny of old age. I can barge to the front of a bus queue, elbows flailing, with impunity. I may not have actually fought in any wars**, (although I was in the Cubs for a week when I was about seven) but it won’t necessarily stop me claiming that I did.
Anyway, I digress.
As part of my tyranny, I am setting up my own Room 101, to enable me to dispatch all of the trappings of the modern world that, as a senior citizen, I find irksome. I’m not saying I’ll be reasonable about it, I’m just casting a jaundiced eye.
I’m going to start modestly, by consigning bad grammar and sheer linguistic ineptitude into Room 101.
Now, I’m not claiming my own perfection, here; far from it. The idea of being a Grammar Nazi is also vaguely disquieting, but when I look at the standards of written communication, especially on social media, it makes me apoplectic and sad in equal measure.
For example, I am a member of a Facebook group that enables members to give and receive items, free of charge. Very noble, you might think. And you’d be right, except that many (and I don’t mean just a few – it’s the majority) seem to have been written by people who never went to school.
Here are just a few typical examples:
Hi,me n my partner are in neesd of a microwave,washer n kettle if anyone can help,were in caernarfon,thanks
Can I ask please has anybody got any lady clothes size 14 asking has lost lot weight need loose more don’t won’t to get new yet till got to my goel thank you so much for reading I live in pensarn thank you again
My cuzun has recently moved into his first flat but has hardly anything if anyone has any furniture or bits n bots it would be greatfully apriciated tia old colwyn
These are by no means the exceptions, they are close to the norm.
The education system in the UK isn’t perfect, for sure, but there is a responsibility upon its clients to, you know, try? Smartphones with their auto-complete are just making matters worse.
Our language skills are regressing. It may not be long before we can only communicate in a series of grunts, albeit transmitted on really sophisticated electronic devices.
So, to Room 101 with bad grammar and linguistic ineptitude.
** A fact for which I am grateful beyond words.