I have been writing other stuff so my poor blog has been a bit neglected. It’s funny how inspiration in one area can mean that there is a lack in another.
Doing lots of writing makes me very, very grammar sensitive. Now, I am the first one to enjoy Peter de Villiers and his hilarious manglings of the English language. I particularly loved the statement about the player who was “playing outside of his boots”. I find most English second language speakers come up with absolutely magnificent direct translation gems, and I love Chinese writing translations into English. Last night we ate rice noodles that needed to ‘return to fresh noodle in tab water’.
It’s when English journalists and presenters manage to mafferate English to within an inch of its life that I get a bit hysterical. Yesterday, while I was ‘returning the noodles in tab water’, the TV was on and Chantal Rutter from Carte Blanche medical spoke glibly about something that would “wreck havoc” with something else, that I thought I would have a small near fatal brain embolism. Wreck havoc? Please explain to me what that means? As far as I understand it, it means that havoc itself would be destroyed, which is a good thing, is it not? But Chantal was confident. Surely the programme editors or producers would have picked it up? It’s not even English! It’s a whole new one to add to the list of misused sayings or words that make me ‘gek’.
Another favourite embolism inducing mistake is chomping at the bit instead of champing at the bit. Because of its ubiquitous misuse, “chomping” has actually become less wrong, and more acceptable. How do you like dem eggs? Damp squid instead of damp squib is another one. Irregardless is another. And quite unique. And I haven’t even done commas and apostrophes!