Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Let's Talk About

the English language. Specifically, how it has suffered throughout this dire and needless election campaign.

Do not be surprised if on Friday 9th June a battered, bruised and heavily swollen amorphous figure turns up at the Royal Courts of Justice, on the Strand, central London to sue all the major political parties, except for the Greens. That figure, my dear readers and fellow bloggers, will be the English language.

Where to start? Enough has been said! Actually, that is a good place to begin, “enough”. Was it used as an adjective a few days ago, describing adequacy and sufficiency, or as an adverb, meaning “fully” or “quite”? Or perhaps it was deployed as an interjection? Enough is enough!

But the truth is that enough has been enough for quite a long time. What the speaker forgot to add was that when it comes to cutting police numbers to the bare minimum, thus, putting the UK population at risk of terrorist attacks, enough is enough. That on the subject of stripping the education budget to the bones, leaving headteachers holding a begging bowl instead of a book, enough is enough. That when it comes to privatising our free healthcare, one of this nation’s proudest achievements and leaving it under-resourced with overworked staff, enough is enough. There, I sussed it for ya.




If you happen to be a businessperson and you are desperate to close a deal, especially one where you have not got the upper hand at all and you are at the mercy of the other party, how can a “no deal” be better than “a bad deal”? Especially, if your livelihood and that of your tribe depend on it. English language, I beseech thee, pray, tell me, is the world going mad or is a transaction that can always be improved in the future  not a better option than one where there is no transaction at all and no bargaining possibility?

Sometimes the best answer is honesty. Of course, I am not saying that every time an interviewer asks a question, the interviewee should answer: “Honesty”. What I mean is that if you don’t know the answer, please, just say “I don’t know”. You see? That’s easy. Or, “I don’t know the answer to that question now. I do have the figures you asked me about but I am going to have to check them and come back to you.” Fluffing your lines, being seen checking your iPad and mobile, doesn’t cut it. And the worst thing? That amorphous figure on the corner. It has just been decked once again.

I am aware that in the world of fake news we all suffer, including language. I am just hoping that the English language can mount a challenge, a counter-attack against those who have mistreated it so much recently. Perhaps we could help. After all, enough is enough.

© 2017

Next Post: “Thoughts in Progress”, to be published on Saturday 10th June at 6pm (GMT)

17 comments:

  1. Great thoughts indeed, warm greetings!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll be beside you, grumbling at the way our language has been devalued in this election - to think we have however many hundred thousand words in English and she still reports to 'enough is enough' - and assumes it actually means something.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Would be better to stay I don't know than the line of BS that many try and spin.

    ReplyDelete
  4. At least in your election cycle, you don't have years (like we do) to abuse the language... and it's been an age-old problem (aka, Orwell's writings on the politics of the English language). Hang in there, you and London and Manchester, and especially those who grieve for loved ones or who were injured in the recent attacks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very well expressed, dear friend.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The most difficult words to say in any language seem to me to be: "I do not know."

    This is particularly true of politicians, who like to believe he or she is the smartest person in the room: Witness Barack Obama and Donald Trump and, never forget William Clinton, who once muttered the infamous line, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is," when being questioned about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

    As for "enough is enough," I think too few people utter those words too few times.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It would be great if politicians answered honestly, even if they don't know the answer to something. I don't believe in alternate facts and I also don't like what's happening to the English language.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sigh.
    Yes. And please stop reciting three word slogans as if they answer everything. They don't.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Not much to choose between the parties, regardless of choice of words or the way they are spoken.

    ReplyDelete
  10. An excellent assessment. I shudder to think where this election could take us, but I like viewing it from the perspective of etymology!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I wish our version of the English language were the only problem in our previous election. Count yourself lucky.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Waking up to the good news that the Conservatives will not have the majority.... As for language, it's fluid and resistant and will survive.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Mario - now the day is here ... nothing is settled ... the whole thing could start again. It's boring, repetitive and doesn't tell us anything - I'll stick where I am ... not perfect, nor in language, but able to be reasonable. Cheers? to a tricky time ahead - Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  14. A resounding Hear! Hear! to all that...

    Ms Soup

    ReplyDelete
  15. Could be worse. Our president seems to communicate exclusively through Tweets. :/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well-said, Mario. If it were mandatory for politicians to speak nothing but the truth, there would be a lot fewer politicians, which, come to think of it, would be a GREAT thing. I think people all over the world have been lamenting "Enough is enough" for a very long time.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, honestly is the best policy but how many politicians walk that talk? And what ever happened to "under oath" being significant not just with the possibility of being caught in a lie?

    Personally,I value honestly more and more as I get older. I'd rather say nothing if it can't be totally true.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...