THERE used to be a language called English – until it was murdered by our so-called friends across the Pond.
And the thing that saddens me most is that we’ve wilted like wimps under a growing bombardment of ridiculous Americanisms.
‘’Can I GET a burger and chips,’’ has become the staple way of ordering food for just about every young Brit under the age of 25. I’m still waiting to see someone actually do what they say…and march into the restaurant kitchen to collect their grub.
Then there’s the curse of having to watch TV show hosts inanely urging British audiences, not to applaud, but to ‘’give it up’’ for some Z-list guest who’s incapable of generating spontaneous appreciation.
I honestly believe that English as we know will disappear within a couple of generations, submerged under the tsunami of American influence on our young people. Television, computer games, electronic gadgets, all sorts of technology – everything seems to emanate from the other side of the Atlantic these days. And as for American films (the real word for ‘movies’, remember?), I doubt I understand even half of the obscenity-filled soundtracks these days.
The English language is certainly not what it was 50 years ago.
Back in the 1960s, Britain was king. The Beatles ruled the music world, England were world football champions – and the Commonwealth still encompassed half the planet.
Then, slowly but surely, the meticulous grammar that people like myself were taught in school began to be Yanked away. It has since been regurgitated in American-speak with Britain’s younger generation happily swallowing the new version as if it was a ‘cookie’. And that takes the biscuit.
It seems that English kids today are so weak-willed that they can’t fight off their absorption into 21st century America. Because, believe me, they are being sucked in relentlessly to the point that they actually seem to think McDonalds is proper food and that Starbucks make decent coffee.
We’ve already seen it with Halloween, which was not even celebrated in the UK in my childhood. Guy Fawkes Night was the big one – everything went into making the best ‘Guy’ for November 5, because it guaranteed richer pickings from our door-to-door ‘Penny For the Guy’ collections.
These days, householders are pestered by a horde of masked midgets demanding sweets (or should that be ‘candy’?). With menaces, too. Presumably the sweets are the treat –but what happens if you opt for ‘trick’? Does one of the midgets’ masks comes off and reveal Paul Daniels? Horror of horrors!
But back to the English language. As a professional wordsmith, I have to deal every day with the trimmings of the American Revolution. I am increasingly seeing words like ‘organisation’ and ‘realise’ spelt with a Z; rather than an S. Indeed, the spellcheck on my computer, which is set to ‘ENGLISH English’, perpetually tries to ‘correct’ the spelling to the American style.
We can do nothing about the Yanks nicking our language and changing the rules (just as they did when they pinched the game of rugby, turned the participants into bouncy castles, and called it American Football).
But for heaven’s sake, let’s vow NEVER to allow words like ‘burglarize’, ‘gotten’ and ‘’winningest’ to creep into our everyday speech.
Even if that means stepping up to the plate and doing math in the parking lot.