The English language is a marvellous thing, it’s a fantastic tool for communication. Which is just as well really because I’m sure we’d all get very frustrated if we had to resort to sign-language or semaphore as a means of getting our point across.
And although there are probably one or two people of Chinese or Spanish/Latin American extract out there who would disagree, the English language has to be the best of breed. It’s so flexible. I mean, just look at what the Americans and ‘Straylians have done with it. That just goes to show how flexible and adaptable a language it is.
However, British English – and I can’t believe I have to even qualify it by calling it British English – is still far and away the best version of it in existence. It’s because it’s so, well… British, I guess. We have such a quaint way of phrasing things, using words and verbs that, although we understand completely what the speaker is saying, we also know that those verbs were never intended to be used in that particular context. Here’s a few…
Dive – as in “I’m just going to dive into the shower”. Real? Are you? Are you sure you just aren’t simply going to open the door an step in gingerly, making sure you don’t slip on the wet floor?
Grab – you can grab somebody’s arse in a crowded bar (what do you mean, no you can’t?) or grab hold of a hand-rail on a bus or train, but “grab a bite to eat”? Show some decorum and manners, there is no need for all that aggression at the dinner table.
Pop – balloons pop, and Rice Krispies pop, right after they have snapped and crackled, in fact. I don’t think there is a need for any of us to “pop out to the shop” now, is there. Or, for that matter , to “nip to the shops”. It all sounds a bit painful to me.
Shimmy – I’m not sure when is the most appropriate situation to use the word ‘shimmy’ but I’m pretty sure it’s related to a tricky (or even nippy) left winger or something that occurs on a dance floor. Do I really need to shimmy along a seat to make room for a newly-arrived guest at the dinner or bar table? Surely I can just move along the seat. Although, in Wigan, I may be asked to ‘utch up”
Drop – you may be reading thus blog because you have liked the Chris Griffin Says Facebook page (do it now, if you haven’t!) or because I am just about to “drop you an email”. That all sound very clumsy and hit an miss to me. You’re better off liking the Facebook page. Much safer.
See you in Dictionary Corner – Griff