Give me the strength!

And then the announcement. It came from nowhere. It shocked, and you took an involuntary intake of breath.

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FullSizeRenderImagine the scene.  It has been a wearying time.  You left your hotel room at 11:00am on the final day of your much-needed holiday.  You spent a final few hours trying to enjoy the last dregs of the Mediterranean town you have inhabited for a week, but at the back of your mind a voice is chanting with increasing volume: “I just want to get back home …”

At 3:00pm you, your holiday rep, and your bags are thankfully reunited at the local airport for the 5:30pm flight.  The temperature outside is just below 30C.  The queues for the ham and cheese paninis and coffee are long, and the Mediterranean males are shouting and stomping  as they serve, while their resigned women sit quietly and take the money.  The airport lounge is overcrowded and there are not enough seats.  “I just want to get home,” you say to yourself.  “I just want to get home.”

And then the announcement.  It came from nowhere.

Continue reading “Give me the strength!”

Two Recent English Language Use Changes: Invention and Omission

These two changes show how republicanism and atheism are slowly beginning to impact language use.

426799067_55027d4244_zSince the General Election on June 8, 2017, and the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower Fire, I have been listening to and watching media broadcasts more than usual, and have noticed two significant changes in language use.

One change is limited to a very specific occasion, though it has been growing in popularity over the years.  It is quite consciously deliberate and requires a degree of determination, even courage, on behalf of the speaker.  The other change is usually less obvious, though it too requires a slight degree of determination (if less planning than the other one).  The second one has been around for a lot longer and is growing in popularity (and acceptability).

Continue reading “Two Recent English Language Use Changes: Invention and Omission”