my author page on Facebook, I have a personal page with
stuff about tango dances and skate events in London. If I get two or
three comments on a post, that’s an unusual level of interest. Then last week I
I'm mildly OCD. But if you agree with something, please don't write 'Here!
Here!' when you mean 'Hear! Hear!' It irritates me every time (cue a thousand
replies all saying 'Here! Here!') but I don't want to be one of those annoying
people putting passive aggressive notes on your posts. So please get it right:
you're asking people to listen to ('hear') what is said, not calling them to
heel like wandering puppies.
comments later, I gave up keeping count.
seems that people really care about misuse of English. Pet hates that they
shared with me included:
instead of 'me'. Eg "here is a picture of Lisa and I' so annoying. Also
… "myself" and "yourself" instead of me and you is SUPER
annoying. And wrong.
absolute WORST for me is when people say "I could care less".
can't bear people posting that they can't "bare" it.
that don't belong in 1940s etc or to make plurals.
Not using the correct there for the
context drives me crazy … And the same applies for your.
Language is a sensitive subject. In
France, they even have laws to insist that you use the language correctly. In
England, where the way you speak and the words you use precisely define where
in our carefully stratified class structure you belong, you break the rules at
your peril. Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots and Leaves, a whole book obsessively setting out the rules on these
things, was a huge bestseller.
It’s odd that at a time when many readers and writers don’t seem
to care very much about the actual language that appears in books (I’m sorry,
but I am going to pick on 50 Shades … because
I just have to) so many people do
care about the language of everyday communication.
This blog concentrates on history. (Nothing about Napoleon today: two hundred years
ago he was still in Paris.) I do write about other things from time to time
and, as on my Facebook, if one or two you respond, I am bowled over by your
interest. One of the "other things" is the actual business of
writing. So, given the number of Facebook ‘friends’who felt the urge to
comment, I thought I'd post the same thing here and see what my blog readers