Funny photo eh? This is how I feel when I read some of the stuff posted on FB and Twitter and I know I will be shot down in flames by the ‘If-you-can-understand-what-they’re-saying-it-doesn’t-matter’ brigade (but at least I put ‘they’re’ and not ‘their’). That’s the kind of thing I mean. Do people, these days, really not understand the difference between ‘they’re’ (they are), ‘their’ (possessive e.g. their house) and ‘there’ (over there…or, if you’re Welsh, over by there).
I left school in 1980. I attended a Welsh school i.e. most of the lessons were taught through the medium of Welsh. This can be hard to explain to those living on this side of the Severn Bridges but, for example, French was taught in Welsh. If the teacher (Dr. Ellis) wasn’t speaking French, he was speaking Welsh in class. Sadly, there were no Welsh/French text books, only English/French and so we would have to take the books home, translate the English into Welsh and then, set about learning the French translations of the Welsh words and phrases. Sounds mad doesn’t it? In fact, the standard of education in our school was incredibly high and we sent our fair quota of students to the UK’s best universities. English was, interestingly, taught in English. It was a rare time when you could speak English to a teacher without being given a ‘cosb’ (punishment) and as we all lived such a long way from our school, it was never detention but more likely to be ‘write out the school rules 100 times’. Yup, being caught speaking English was a punishable offence. Don’t ask, that’s just the way things were. I suppose if you’d chosen (or your parents had chosen for you) to attend a Welsh school and you didn’t speaka da lingo the whole time, what was the point in being there?
Anyway, I digress but suffice to say, the standard of English teaching at our Welsh school was also very high. If you were to pin me to the wall and ask me to explain how I know about language, I really wouldn’t be able to tell you. I have no idea about subjunctives or personal possessive pronouns or any of that stuff, I just know that ‘they’re’ means ‘they are’ and ‘you’re’ means you are. I once received a message from a bloke on a dating website. He wrote ‘Your a good looking girl Fi’. Well, two things darling. Don’t call me Fi unless you know me personally and if you think I’m going to go out with you, having read your abominable opening gambit, you’re very much mistaken (you’re not your, see?). I am pretty sure I don’t use commas or semi-colons correctly, I am almost convinced I wrongly put full stops inside or outside the inverted commas at the end of the sentence but on the whole, I think I write reasonably well and people say they enjoy my Facebook ramblings and are looking forward to my first book ‘Hero the Greyhound’.
I just want to chew my laptop (see above photo) when I read ‘Your welcome’ or ‘Your such a lovely friend’ and if that makes me a fuddy-duddy pedant, so be it. I titled this blog post ‘Let’s eat grandma…’ and initially left out the apostrophe in the word ‘let’s’ but I just couldn’t do it and had to add it again (let’s = let us).
Some people say they don’t care whether or not people write correctly and as long as they get the jist, they couldn’t give a monkey’s whether the spelling and grammar is correct. Txt spk is on the up, several of my fellow school mums write texts I can’t understand and have to read phonetically ‘Gr8’ and ‘c u later’ abound whereas I tend to write fully worded, grammatically correct texts (see ‘fuddy-duddy pedant’ above). It’s just the way I do things but I tell you one thing, if you think ‘Let’s eat grandma…’ looks OK without the comma, I’m glad I’m not your grandmother.