Monday, March 31, 2014

Ranting about ranting

Yes, I know this is a bit of a double standard, a tad hypocritical even . In the previous post I said I was making a determined effort to stop going off about minuscule things that really don't impact me at all. In the mean time however, it appears that the rest of the world isn't joining in.

For instance, there were at least two posts on Facebook yesterday suggesting we shouldn't be celebrating Mother's Day because it would make motherless people everywhere feel bad. The premiss of this slightly judgmental stance is that when your mother is no longer around, other people celebrating are being insensitive etc. etc. Kind of see where they're coming from but it's also kind of rubbish. I lost my dad decades ago and miss him still, but it would never occur to me to want Father's Day eradicated. I'm happy that other people still have dads around, especially when grandchildren come into the picture.

There were also a few snarky comments about it being "Mothering Sunday" instead of the Americanized (gasp, horror) "Mother's Day". Please. Americanisms will creep into British English whether or not you take a stand on your little Facebook page, just as British English is creeping into the language here. (You should hear the amount of Americans saying "gob-smacked" without a clue of what a gob is.) Language develops because we mix with people who speak it slightly differently, and because of other languages mixing in with ours. If that weren't the case, we'd all be speaking a more Frenchified English, which they did after the 1066 Norman Conquest.

And ditto changes in language and grammar. The number of grammar nazis is increasing by the day. People ranting on about apostrophes in the wrong places, whether you can split an infinitive and the rights and wrongs of the Oxford comma. Does it really matter? Will standards really slip so low that we will no longer be able to communicate effectively? I think not. In fact, once again, this is just language changing. The people who dig their heels in and resist all linguistic developments are the very same people who have already adopted alternative healing therapies and are busy snacking on kale chips! OK, that's a sweeping generalization; my point being that they are more than ready to embrace change in other aspects of their lives.


  1. A very good post and I heartily agree with you.
    I'm fed up with us having to change everything in case we cause offence! It is very offensive!
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  2. Bravo! People need to grow a thicker skin and just get on with it.

  3. Wow, OMG no mother'''s'' Day? what is world coming to? It's mother in law's day anyway really in most households

  4. I'd have to quibble about the apostrophes thing. Makes me crazy... Those apostrophes have a definite meaning, and it's not plurals! Messes with my head and makes me cross.

  5. Gosh, if I didn't know better I would suspect that you've been lurking around Smitten by Britain's Facebook page. You know how I feel about grammar and spelling Nazis so I won't elaborate further on what you've said so well.

    People getting worked up over whether or not Mother's Day should be celebrated is like me saying that no one is allowed to have a baby shower since I had three miscarriages! An extreme example yes, but in the same vein.


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