Saturday, 15 August 2009

Why Don't You Come Up and Fact Me?


I AM aware English is an evolving language, otherwise we’d all sound like a Chaucer poem (‘swiche glarynge eyen hadde he as an hare’ or ‘his eyes were as shiny as his hair’) but I get annoyed when people take too many liberties with my mother tongue.

There is an advertisement on TV at the moment which sets my teeth on edge. Some vacuous woman is asking a car salesman to 'fact me' with information about the jalopy. Fact me? Since when was the word ‘fact’ a verb? I suppose it’s supposed to be a bit suggestive what with the 'drive sexy' slogan and F and the C in 'fact' – or is that just my dirty mind!

The ad then annoys the hell out of me even more with the phrase “yada yada” (I can hardly bring myself to type it) and its horror is compounded when the salesman pronounces 'noir' as 'nwahrr' in some strange, drawn-out transatlantic drawl. I wish the pair of them were midatlantic – several fathoms under with concrete shoes, preferably.

I digress, turning nouns into verbs is what I’m talking about. I cringe when someone tells me they are going “to diary” an appointment. Recently, task has become a verb. I’m frequently being tasked to do this or that. Tsk to task, I say.

Some advertising whizz kid has come up with the slogan “the smarter way to office”. To office? "Sorry, can’t meet you for lunch, I’m officing all day."

As I am officing five days a week, I get to hear quite a lot of jargon and management speak. I was once told: "We need to dialogue about that." I wanted to scream, "DIALOGUE IS A NOUN, NOT A VERB. YOU CANNOT USE IT AS A VERB, YOU ILLITERATE, BRAIN DEAD BINT," but as I was talking to a director I just said, "What time would suit you?" Coward.


I was talking about this to my friend and she told me she'd just about managed to stop herself committing filicide when her teenage daughter said to her, "You're just trying to guilt me into it."

I know I'm fighting a losing battle. Several nouns are now commonly used as verbs and I'm getting used to them. Strictly speaking, access is a noun so I shouldn't be accessing anything. Then there's 'impact' - used to be just a noun but is now a verb too.

I'm trying not to get too worked up about this. It’s time for a nice sit down. I’m going to ask the dearly beloved to coffee me. Then maybe he could cake me. You never know, he might then, if I'm lucky, fact me.





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25 comments:

Elaine said...

Cottage? Cottaging? Nah, I won't go there.

Wine and Words said...

Lol. You must hate my blog :) I take my liberties to be sure.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Dog? Dogging?

Sorry, Elaine filled my brain with filth.

I get pissed off when people say 'I'm excited for tomorrow'

How can you be excited FOR tomorrow? You can't be excited on behalf of tomorrow. You can be excited ABOUT tomorrow.

or "I'm excited to see..." NO NO NO, you are excited ABOUT SEEING.

Argh.

Teuchter said...

I'm with you on that car advertisement! In fact - I'll help mix the concrete.
Every time it comes on, I either switch channels or curse until the air turns dark blue.

My peeve du jour, or should that be jouwahr, is the word "text" when it's used as a verb in the past tense.
He text me. No he bloody didn't; he texted you.

And don't get me started on less and fewer.

As for those people who start sentences with "And" ... completely beyond the pale.

Pondside said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I, too, office five days a week, with a Director who uses language like a club. Yikes!

elizabethm said...

Oh yes, hate the ad with a passion, concrete shoes are an ideal response. I hate the language, the use of sex, the faux Americanisms. Every time I see it my blood pressure rises. I think everyone has their own pet language misuse which sets them fuming. I hate the use of "refute" where you mean "deny". If you say something isn't so, you deny it. To refute it, to have to prove it isn't so. Descends from soapbox. I do nowadays start sentences with "and" from time to time, which I was once taught was a sin.

The Green Stone Woman said...

Being Dutch, but considering English as my real language, I'm very protective of it and can't stand people abusing it. I try to ignore insensible use of the language and don't react to it and pretend I did not hear that remark until it is repeated in proper English.I do make a haughty face when I ignore such a remark, so that helps the situation be more understandable perhaps, and I act slightly exhausted, as if I can't bear it anymore. I'm such a snob!

Flowerpot said...

I quite agree Table - it's INFURIATING! Another thing that used to get me, in my TV news days was Major. As in, there is a Major Disaster. Still used that one - and overused....

Teuchter said...

I know language must evolve but there are some noisome neologisms out there; "staycation" and "chillax" are two which make me shudder.

Tracey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracey said...

hiya.. Just found your blog and boy did i laugh at this post.. That same advert bugs me too! "Noir" grrr

Also all the ads about selling gold.. one woman says "I took my Jewlerry and got £150"
Its Jew E llery woman not jew lerry

and thats blooming child who wants a "poo and pause" i could slap him.. right, now i've had my whinge i'll go

I feel happy now ;-)

ladythinker said...

Almost as bad as the folk who use words they have no idea how they are spelt (spelled) and therefore mispronounce: my favourite irritant?
"He pacificley said . . "

and don't get me on people who have no idea of the differences between:
either/neither - or/nor
loan/lend/borrow
learn/learnt(ed)/teach/taught
I seen /I saw

"He says to me . ."/ he said to me

"He goes . . " where? precisely??

Bring back ADVERBS too please: why does everyone only 'go private' nowadays?

ladythinker said...

well that got some of that off my ample chest!
I can see I'll have to start watching the adverts - just to be sure to see this little gem ;-)

Teuchter said...

ladythinker got me thinking about some other irritating turns of phrase.

When listening to someone giving an account of a conversation where - he turned round and said, then she turned round and said, ad nauseum - I get a mental picture of people spinning like tops.

As for that pooing child, Tracey ... if I don't get to the channel-changer in time, I end up shouting at his mother to Open The Blasted Window.

Maria said...

Ah. Yes. A pox on it.

paddy said...

In Sweden people have started to say "yes box" to mean "yes indeed". And worse, they say it in English. I want to kill them. Mid-Baltic style.

Akelamalu said...

Oh I am so with you on this! I hate to hear our language adulterated - mmmmmm adulterate? No, no, no, don't even go there! ;)

The Woman who Can said...

Grammar is my bug bear, you sum this up beautifully. You used to read me when I did Too Young for a Midlfe an age ago, but I'm back now, and it would be lovely to have a friendly face pay a visit!

Tina

Minnie said...

Greetings from a gossip in France. Have been enjoying your blog - hardly surprising, as it's funny, warm, wry + beautifully-written! 'Chapeau' as they say here. Thank you.
Agree with all the linguistic laments. Worked in/with big companies most of career, so automatic sneer @ just about anything emanating from Harvard Business School. Otherwise, it's 'party' used as a verb + confusing imply/infer & collegial/collegiate ... and I could go on; but will spare you further horrors!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

hmmm, he might do all sorts of other nouns to you if you're lucky!! a very good point and i do so love a rant.

I have to endure daily the horror of the french peppering their speech with English. 'Le Feeling',
'Le look', 'cookies', 'Le living' (lounge)and one that makes me gnaw my fist in horror, 'talkie walkie' (pronounced talc-y wal-kie) i know the latter isn't english, but it's a weird corruption of english and shouldn't be allowed. If you're going to have an effing language, then speak it, don't borrow from ours.

now i'm all riled up...
Pigx

Beki said...

I want to know when my gay friend stoppeds being gay and became A gay.

Corner Comforts said...

I am so pleased that you wrote about that stupid advert. I had no idea what the Noooarrrr was until I read your blog. My Other Half and I have read it to all of our friends who mention the stupidity of that advert.

Your blog has made it less hateful now, we just laugh at the advertising worlds insular idiocy.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Elaine: "To cottage" - nope, doesn't bear thinking about!

Wine and Words: I love your blog. If anyone goes through my blog looking for spelling and grammatical errors, they will find plenty!

PDEWYMO: Excited for - that's another one, along with "he should of" instead of "he should have".

Teuchter: Less and fewer is one of mine too. The less times people get that wrong, the better! Staycation and chillax (shudder!)

Pondside: I think all directors have to pass a gobbledegook exam before they're allowed to take up their post.

Elizabethm: And I begin sentences with and sometimes too!

Green Stone Woman: Dutch people, I've found, generally speak English much better than the English!

Flowerpot: Everything is a major something or other on news bulletins - infuriates me too!

Tracey: Oh Tracey, don't get me started on the "poo" child. I'll hold him down if you slap him!

Ladythinker: Talking of adverbs, why do football managers always knock the "ly" off. I once heard one manager say, "He done excellent."

Maria: A pox on it all!

Paddy: Haven't heard "yes box" before. Don't worry, I shan't be using it!

Akelamalu: Adulterate as a noun? Mmm, probably best not to go there, as you say!

The Woman Who Can: I'll be round soon and will change your address in my links.

Minnie: Thank you for the comments. Imply/infer - that's another of my bugbears!

Pig in the Kitchen: Sorry you got riled up. Love the
talc-y wal-kie!

Beki: That's another one. He's a gay - noooooo. He is gay - fine.


Corner Comforts: That advert is wrong on so many levels - appalling!

Milla said...

yes yes yes, or rather no no no - to fact me, that is. what a sordid old slapper she is too. Saw it all the time through the cricket, I think.

Anonymous said...

Verbing weirds language

and

hottentottententententoonstelling (famous dutch word)