A drawing of a grumpy, old piece of bread, by a grumpy, old artist.

The Queen’s English

Australia is an English-speaking country and our language originated in England. We still belong to the British Commonwealth and although I’d love to see this country a republic, this is not the time.

We have become very, very LAZY when it comes to the written word. As we get (supposedly) smarter, we get lazier. Many words have been abbreviated to the point where they’ve lost their original meaning and have become something else.

The standard of grammar and spelling in this country is at times appalling. In my travels down the East Coast I have been constantly ‘bombarded’ with examples of poor, lazy English. Signwriters are the worst culprits.

Texting abbreviations are fine if you’re texting, but should not be used in any other form of communication.

Some common (irritating) mistakes I have seen include,

your instead of you’re (you are),

definately instead of definitely,

accomodation instead of accommodation,

mangos instead of mangoes,

it’s (it is) instead of its (possession).

Just about every sign I have seen in Queensland containing a plural word has an apostrophe. What a lot of rot! An apostrophe is used for an abbreviation or as a possessive noun, NOT A PLURAL.

And now for a short story….

The other day we visited an upmarket women’s store in Airlie Beach, Queensland. Its neon sign contained the word Accessory’s. I went in and asked the lady behind the counter, if she knew that there was a spelling mistake on the sign. She replied that she knew that it was not correct but that it was the American way of spelling the word, and it had to be that way because another company had used the correct spelling in their sign. CAN YOU BELIVE THAT!! By the way, that’s not the American spelling.

You may think why I’m bothering with correct spelling and grammar and that it does not matter. WELL IT DOES MATTER AND WE SHOULD CARE. NO WONDER OUR CHILDREN CAN’T SPELL!! STANDARDS DO MATTER. WE AREN’T AS CLEVER AS WE THINK WE ARE!!

Now I’ve had my rant I’ll sign off, sit down and have a soothing cup of tea, Dilmah of course!

About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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10 Responses to GRUMPY OLD ARTIST

  1. Margaux says:

    Just a word in defence of signwriters every where – they usually only write what they are told to write! The mistake is often in the information passed on to them by the client — the customer is always right? I don’t think so! LOVE YOUR WORK XX

  2. Pauline says:

    I can assure you we are experiencing the same in the UK and it drives me mad!!

  3. Carmen says:

    Idem in Spain, with spanish. And Catalonia, with catalan. Greetings!

  4. Gillian says:

    This malady has spread to Australia I see and I’m afraid it’s unstoppable. I do feel your frustration but at the same time I’ve long since accepted that, since language is an organic, ever-changeing thing, we have to accept the disintegration of our home tongue as inevitable.

    I think television and the internet has accelerated this evolution, coupled with a deteriorating education system, with no emphasis on the basic structure of language such as punctuation and spelling.

    Perhaps, if we were to come back in a hundred years’ time, we would no longer understand anything!

  5. Another thing I find myself in despair with the English language is the demise of adjectives. We have it seems chopped thousands from our vocabulary and settled for handful that are over-used and often inappropriate such as; “awesome”, “legendary”, “incredible” and maybe one or two more.

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