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Anonymous1 Sep 2011
Very irritating that throughout the new publicity for AVIOS – ba.com/the club, BA continually refer to ‘less’ airmiles rather than ‘fewer’ air miles.
One of my real pet hates, and surprised that BA didn’t have a copywriter to check this out.1 Sep 2011
It is a pity that you (MidasGold) only limit your comments to one point on one thread. Though you are right , it is a continual occurrence in every thread. While many people write what they speak they do not take care enough to see that what they have written is coherent or logical.
– how many times do you see the use, missuse or nonuse of the apostrophe.
– “there”, “there´re”, “they´re” and “their” are common misusages of the language.
– the difference between transitive and non-transitive verbs has been obliterated.
-these days something is now “sorted” not “sorted out”(as before), while you go out to “enjoy” and not to “enjoy yourself or some event”
-the passive voice has become obliterated so that, a company “grows” its workforce, not that “it is grown by hiring”.
-Hollywood has introduced the use of the the Present Continuous Tense where it was not used before, such as, “I am feeling or hearing something ” while before we only said “I feel or hear something”.
I could go on indefinitely; the list is endless.
It is fine to say that the language is always in flux. However, when the dominant changes occur thanks to the interventions of the less aware of the correct usage of the English language, then the inevitable result is downhill.
I should point out two things here. Foreign students of the English language (where it is their second or third language), generally have to pass stringent tests to be able to study in English speaking countries. On the other hand the same does not occur in the main English speaking countries of Great Britain, USA and Canada. Here birth is proof enough of English language competence. As a result such is the dumbdown (or is it “dumpdown”) of the standards.1 Sep 2011
I think that typo on the BAEC website is proof enough that I don’t work at BA!
Quite appalling, and I agree entirely with you transtraxman; standards should be maintained where possible.
Everyone makes typos (not typo’s!) from time to time or in rushing to write (not right) something make a simple error – that’s excusable, but should be avoided where possible.
Some people say they are dyslexic (such an ironically difficult word to spell!), use English as a second language or use other excuses; I’m sorry, but they don’t wash with me if you have a sloppy attitude towards use of the language.
There’s nothing wrong about making an honest mistake, and learning from it, there’s plenty wrong with a sloppy use of language and a “couldn’t care less” attitude.
It’s (not its) the continual and repeated perpetuation of errors which (not that) makes it difficult for many people to know what’s right (not write) and what’s wrong both in spelling and grammar terms.
Now, just to prove I’m not infallible (not infallable), I had mistyped appalling earlier, but took the time to re-read my post before pushing the “save” button, and Chrome highlighted and spellchecked it for me; simples.1 Sep 2011
I wouldn’t normally pick someone up on their language usage on this or any other forum, but when the posters are trying to lecture others about their use of language, the temptation is too strong to resist.
[POST HEAVILY EDITED FROM THIS POINT ONWARD]
The misuse of language is indeed an irritant, especially where the user (in the example referred to above, a copywriter for British Airways) should know better. However, everyone – *everyone* – makes errors, even those who, on this forum, make a habit of picking others up on their mistakes. Perhaps a little more tolerance is in order?2 Sep 2011
Apologies, Ian, but “cultural differences” would mean that you’d be unaware of the colloquial use of the word “simples” popularised here in the UK and associated with a certain Aleksandr Orlov.
While making any post about “grammer” lays one open to be accused of casting the first stone, I’m afraid on this point my use of the word “simples” was apposite, and used with some irony!2 Sep 2011
Hmm. I think I may have met my match.
But you also aren’t au fait with irony; the use of the word “grammer” was specifically in quotation marks exactly because I had deliberately misspelled it. It was used very purposefully as a native speaker would have realised.
And I’d also challenge the point about “changes occur[ring] thanks to the interventions of the less aware of the correct usage of the English language”.
There’s nothing wrong with playing about with and enjoying the language; flexibility is one of the delights of English and why I think it’s so popular in all its many and various forms elsewhere. Using the word “simples” is rather more an example of someone who is very aware of the correct usage slipping into a colloquialism to underline a point.
I entirely agree that tolerance is appropriate, but it should not be mistaken for low standards, which should be rooted out at every opportunity.
And “worth googling”, though not a sentence, is a perfectly acceptable contraction in this context.2 Sep 2011
Thanks for the reply, VK. Unfortunately, irony doesn’t always come across well on the printed page and so can be harder to pick up on – even a native speaker (in which category I place myself) won’t always pick up on it.
I have edited my first post to remove personal criticism, and am going to delete my others. Let’s bring the conversation back to where it started.
Happy travelling!2 Sep 2011
I do agree with VK that the standard of the English language is slipping in the world including countries where English is the native tongue.
I was taught to use it correctly in school and I try to maintain that standard whenever I can and copy-writers should not make such mistakes! I worked in (summer job) some of the largest advertising companies in the world but I must say some of the copy-writers should not have been hired in the first place!2 Sep 2011
Well, perhaps some of those in the know do read the fora on this site. References to ‘less’ on the Avio section of the BA site have been replaced with ‘fewer’ as per my original post. Well done BA.7 Sep 2011
Apologies for going off topic.
VK is correct that use of the English language is sadly deteriorating.
The Empire in which the ‘sun never sets’ is sadly deteriorating in many other ways. Globalisation & evolution may well play be partly responsible. I realise this forum is not the appropriate medium for such a topic.8 Sep 2011