Expressions which will seem dated in 50 years time? (Possibly distressing for pedants).

(57 Posts)
MardyBra Tue 28-Jan-14 18:36:00

I sometimes wonder which expressions will win out.

When I'm older and greyer will it seem weird and anachronistic to say:

Could have/Would have/Should have
Texted (although texting probably won't exist any more)
Disgusting?

Bubblybint Thu 08-May-14 18:58:56

Amendments seems to have been replaced by 'amends'. It's no longer a conscious abbreviation at work. Am always amused by all these people making amends all day...

JessieMcJessie Tue 01-Apr-14 13:00:46

chateau I am the opposite - 22 years away from Scotland, in England or predominantly English expat communities all that time and I absolutely can't say "shall" in any context without thinking I sound like The Queen! And I would add that I am very well spoken, just very Scottishly well spoken. I didn't even notice that "will I send the letter?" sounded odd to English ears until I had been in England for 9 years and my boss pointed it out!

cricketpitch Thu 13-Mar-14 22:40:57

Fortnight. We always used to talk about a "fortnight's holiday" - because that's what you had. I used it with the DCs at breakfast the other day and neither understood it.

chateauferret Wed 05-Mar-14 19:17:33

Horatia yes I recognise that - in England that's always a shall. I've been up here 15 years and live in a house full of Scottish people and I still can't get that one right smile

Of course the Scots have another excellent modal verb for situations like this which is "gauny" grin

chateauferret Wed 05-Mar-14 19:12:40

Here's one from the local NHS Board. DS2's name is obviously masculine, you would have to be on glue to think he might possibly be a girl. Verbatim:

"DS2 was seen at school today for their Height and weight .Their height was x and their weight was y."

Aaaaaargh donk donk donk

And breathe...

HoratiaDrelincourt Sun 02-Mar-14 14:56:13

English people are often startled or muddled by Scottish will/shall in my experience.

Scotsman: "Will I put the kettle on?"
Englishman: "I don't know, will you?"
Both parties: confused

chateauferret Sun 02-Mar-14 14:49:20

I'm not sure "shall" will be around forever, at least in some dialects. I know a lot of people in England who never use it and only use "will". It has a useful distinct meaning though, especially in the second person. "You shall have a cake for tea, but just now you will go to school".

Fowler says to think of the two verbs cross-conjugated, IIRC. "Shall" conjugates "I will, you shall, he shall", connoting obtaining some benefit or carrying out some intention, whereas "will" conjugates "I shall, you will, he will", and connotes 'whether we like it or not'.

I write requirements for IT systems and I use the two verbs differently in a quite precise way. "Shall" means something this project is required to do and which is being paid for. "Will" means it will happen anyway and we must handle that. "The customer base will grow from 1 million in 2012 to 2 million in 2015. The system shall scale to meet the corresponding demand".

"Shall" seem to enjoy wider use in Scotland than England though.

chateauferret Sun 02-Mar-14 14:37:29

Now, the thing that really gets on my nipples is this. "They", "them" and "their" are all plural pronouns on English. People are using them as singular pronouns of neuter or mixed gender and by extension as singular pronouns when they can't be bothered to think about gender. "The applicant sends in their form". It annoys me even more when there is a gender but the writer just ignores it. "Alexander was late for their appointment last week". A aargh!

It happens because English doesn't separate grammatical gender from natural gender. We don't like it when we refer to a person who might be female or male in natural gender with a pronoun with one or the other grammatical gender (usually masculine) because we think they don't agree.

I write "he or she", etc. usually, but I think just "he" is correct, "she" is affected and PC, and "they" is just plain wrong.

Also "it" is almost always wrong too; it's funny how often in Scotland in particular pets (and babies) are referred to with neuter gender, even where the natural gender is known. ("See Jemima the cat? It bit me"). For me though the rules of English grammar require that the target of a neuter pronoun be inanimate (some people also use neuter pronouns for people as a deliberate insult).

chateauferret Sun 02-Mar-14 14:19:51

"You and I", etc. is already pretty badly understood. I saw the Tes Minister episode last night in which Sir Humphrey admits being the official at the centre of a ghastly cockup 30 years earlier; he says "it was I". Absolutely correct, but it kinda sounds quaint now. (If he'd been a German speaker "ich war's" would be right. But in French "l'État. c'est moi" is preferable to "je suis l'État", which is however not ungrammatical).

UterusUterusGhali Sun 02-Mar-14 03:55:21

Thrice is all but gone.

As an expression, to "pull the chain" after using the loo makes no sense any more, as so few toilets have an actual pull-flush. Our children will use it perhaps, but not know why.

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 13-Feb-14 14:21:54

The who/whom distinction is definitely already on the way out. Will other object/subject distinctions go as well? Me and Jane will go to the shop. Please come with Jane and I.

dementedma Wed 12-Feb-14 19:30:02

Dsylexic dd used to use squoze as the past of squeeze, which I really liked.

We had a family friend ill recently and she wanted to wish him well so I suggested she "drop him a line".
She looked baffled and asked " A line of what?"

meditrina Fri 31-Jan-14 07:41:54

I still say 'frock' (my DD once asked if I'd had a pet iguanodon as a girl).

I wonder if "news" (pron: njews) will be driven out by (pron: noos)? After all, no-one, except a few elderly speakers, still say Susan as "Sjusan" (the standard RP pronunciation).

My grandmother used the word 'frock'. Also 'slacks' for trousers. If she disagreed with something, it was 'absolute eyewash!'

EmilyAlice Fri 31-Jan-14 06:03:29

Actually frock is probably already 50 years out of date.
I was just trying to remember the Michael Rosen poem written when Gove wanted to insist on the teaching of the subjunctive. I think it went something like this;
If I were you
Be that as it may
Learn a subjunctive every day.
smile

PrimalLass Fri 31-Jan-14 05:51:27

My 5-year-old says 'puck' instead of picked. We should adopt that --because she sounds so cute--grin

EmilyAlice Fri 31-Jan-14 05:44:42

Frock. Which is a shame because I love it to bits. Pronounced frawk if I am feeling very 1950s.

How do you do?

PipkinsPal Thu 30-Jan-14 15:16:57

I was called a legend the other day because I accommodated someone with an appointment time that was acceptable to them confused. I said I was not that old!

frugalfuzzpig Wed 29-Jan-14 17:55:02

Figuratively, instead of a misused 'literally' since apparently literally can now mean either literally or figuratively <cries>

That bit in The Big Bang Theory where Zack says "I haven't been to a comic book store in literally a million years" and Sheldon responds with "LITERALLY? LITERALLY a million years?!?" will not make sense to future generations sad

alexpolistigers Wed 29-Jan-14 17:46:59

I think "computer" will be very outdated before long.

And "terribly", as in "that's terribly nice of you"

Confitdecanard Wed 29-Jan-14 00:08:38

My post is missing a full stop and needs *of instead of if. Sorry if I made you twitch!

Confitdecanard Wed 29-Jan-14 00:06:26

This thread has reminded me if this Stephen Fry clip. You may have seen it already but it makes some interesting points about the evolution of language and pedantry in general

m.youtube.com/watch?v=J7E-aoXLZGY

Salmotrutta Tue 28-Jan-14 23:18:22

People who say new-cue-lar will soon outnumber those of us who say it correctly sad

HelpTheSnailsAreComingToGetMe Tue 28-Jan-14 23:10:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now