Saturday, 12 March 2016

Learn ya shit 'n' stuff

First off, I’m not a grammar Nazi. My own prose can be subject to the odd confusion concerning subordinate and ordinate clauses, on occasion. As long as I obey most of the rules, most of the time, I can live with that. Perfection is a wonderful quality in a man or woman but seldom obtained. But I have to admit I can’t spell for shit. As a kid, I would use a weird phonetic spelling which drove my teachers insane. Mayhap this is why I ended up in the bottom (arse) set for English. However, not being able to spell is no impediment these days due to the wonderful spell check facility. Although I do have to be careful to ensure that the spell check is set to ‘British mode’. Can’t be having those awful American contractions with their deplorable habit of dropping perfectly good vowels. My particular bugbear is the word ‘foetus’. A perfectly good word of Latin origin. The American spelling is ‘fetus’. Why complain you say. Surely the American version is phonetic and didn’t I just say that I’m a phonetic spella/fella at heart. To this, I say, arse, big fat arse. I’m getting old so I can be as inconsistent as I like. Seriously, though, Amerispelling is a form of American imperialism which slowly insinuates. I’ve noticed American spelling creeping into the work of my peers. I wrote a report the other day which was returned by the Boss. He asked me to correct my spelling of foetus to fetus. As he is an Englishman himself, he should have known better; for shame.

We live in an age where folk make quick pronouncements using the myriad of media outlets and ’Text Speak’  has mysteriously intertwined into everyday writing. I’m not expecting folk to write as if they have been transformed into Edwardian Gentlemen, but a bit of effort and a lot of proof reading helps. Remember: “Cursed easy writing is cursed hard reading; blessed hard writing is blessed easy reading”. I think I’ve ranted enough. Here are a few examples of bad English for your amusement and delectation (steady Flaxen).

I’m not going to use the easy but often hilarious examples of mangled English used by foreigners. They, at least, have an excuse. Here is a catalogue of native English speakers who are lazy, ill-educated or just down right thick.             


Not particularly inspiring. However, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and put it down to a genuine lapse. I hope they fix the problem, soon.

What more do you need than a permanent reminder of how stupid you are. And I'm not just talking grammar here. This sort of thing tends to be hereditary.

The superfluous apostrophe loved by baker's, butcher's and candlestick maker's.............

This is not a serious contender. Obviously, a contrived composite to show how it shouldn't be done; hopefully.

Ouch. Credibility and business are constant and firm companions, but not in this case. I am no seer, however, I predict a visitation from the bloke who serves bankrupt writs, or whatever they call these folks; not a bailiff, apparently.

What do you expect when you get the remedial class contributing to community projects during art lessons. Should have had the 'Remmies' digging ditches instead.

Nothing more reassuring than a sign that contradicts. Park here at your peril! 

That's all you get. Anyone finding errors in Flaxen Saxon's grammar can contact me by email. By the way, no one likes a prissy pedant. However, those who amuse me in ways various will receive no censure. Indeed, they will attract benefience according to caprice, whim and medication cycle. 


  1. Illegally parked cars are actually fine around here. I take this up with the police who inform me that they don't have the resources to police parking offences FFS!

    Knowing what an awkward bastard you are, I'm willing to bet you didn't change the spelling in that report, did you?

  2. Heridatry?

    I like "Your dead" - it suggests a war veteran, reminding the losing side of their losses, a bit like the yoof say, "Your Mama"

    1. Thanks Mr P, I've the changed offending word. Makes my point re my ability to spell. I consider myself well educated but the spelling thingy has dogged me the whole of my life. I blame an initial poor beginning at scholastic studies or perhaps my brain is just (mis)wired that way.

  3. And what about texting? It seems to be the preferred method of communicating with millennials and the changes to the english language are astronomical. But what the hell, we'll all be communicating telepathically soon and chaos will reign supreme.