The picture above was posted on Facebook by a friend. I looked at it and saw there were common errors in grammar that most people make. It is not a hanging offence but you probably would lose marks in an examination, not get short-listed for a job interview or depending on who reads what you write, you may not get taken seriously.
For me, as long as I can read what a person writes and understand the point they are making I am okay with that. I am no academic scholar of the English Language so don’t feel the need to take the moral high ground that many take when it comes to grammar and semantics of The Language. But when I switch on the TV, the Radio, all I hear and see is bad news. The World is in a bad way. I have better things to worry about. Anyway, this was my response:-
You know, I just write. My spelling has never been an issue but I am prone to typos like everyone else. If English was taught better in schools and we were encouraged to actually take an interest in our Mother Language, we would all be Little Willy Shakespeares now. Language evolves by people making mistakes or adding new words, alternative meanings to existing words etc. I write for the love of it. If I make a mistake, there are always proof readers and editors so there is no need to act like I have a poker up my ass when it comes to semantics and grammar of the English Language. I leave that to the uptight elitist snobs who waste good money on a private education, think they are smart but are just as stupid as they think they are smart.
Now when I was writing this, I was thinking of no one in particular and if I was, it would be one of those intellectuals who carp on endlessly about how the English Language is being dragged down the gutter. Oh please! If that was the case Oxford and Cambridge Universities would not continue to publish their respective Dictionaries. Like a living organism, the English Language continues to evolve, to grow. Other contributors pointed out Shakespeare made up a third of his words when writing his plays. Another pointed out why semantics and syntax are important to convey the right thought and these are all valid points. What I object to and don’t like is the how those aforementioned elitist snobs hi-jacked The Language and try to make it inaccessible as they have done with Shakespeare’s work.
But it is one comment from a lady in Wales that really takes the biscuit:-
I was privately educated (after spending 5 years in state school) and make huge sacrifices to ensure that my son continues with his private education. As an employer I am dismayed at the standard of application forms I receive for job vacancies.
I am not elitist and certainly not a snob and I find your last sentence deeply offensive.
I wasn’t even aware of this lady when I was writing this so not sure what her problem was and to be honest, I wasn’t all that interested. I responded to her and asked why she was taking it so personally when it wasn’t gear towards her, nor was her name mentioned. Why would it? I wasn’t writing about her. I wasn’t even aware what her background was, I received no response to my question but that is hardly surprising given she ‘unfriended’ me from Facebook.
It is surprising how easy it is upset someone without even trying. My comments about the hi-jacking of the English Language by elitist snobs, gets one person so upset she unfriends me on the basis that she wasn’t an elitist snob and I was being offensive. Strange I never mentioned her by name, she didn’t even come to mind when I was writing my view. I hadn’t even exchanged an email with her in months. Possibly more than a year for all I know. Obviously my comments struck quite close to home, as well as a raw nerve somewhere.
As one other contributor mentioned Willy Shakespeare, invented many words when writing his plays. And that is how the English Language expands. By people using words in imaginative ways. The self-appointed guardians of the English Language would probably hang someone like Mr. Shakespeare if he was around today and writing innovative works, based on historical events or writing many of the other great works he produced. But he was writing for Performance. The performance of his plays. Plays for the Common Man. He wasn’t writing for the elitist snobs who seem to think if you come from humble beginnings, with a state education under your belt, Shakespeare’s works would be far too intellectual for you. This lady by her behaviour and objection to my supposedly being offensive demonstrates so clearly why she is indeed an Elitist Snob. If the hat fits by all means wear it. I may be many things but the one thing I am not, is a hypocrite. My views are my own and based on nothing more than my personal experience.
And that is all I have ever written from. A personal perspective. One where British Television and Film still fails to recognise the historical fact People of Colour have always made a contribution to these Islands since the days of the Roman Empire where a Black Roman Emperor ran his Empire from the North of England for ten years. I don’t hear any of this from the ruling elite. And why would I? They have no interest in the proper teaching of History in our school, whether they are private or state controlled.
I could get overly sensitive about many things and while there are people I would dearly love to hang from the gallows, reality bites and one accepts the way things are. The order or things if you will. However that does not mean I should not present an alternative view. It is called Debate and all I am doing is stimulating it. I don’t expect people to agree with everything I say or write but at the same time, if they can’t handle the argument or counter-argue effectively, then in my view it is best to remain quiet, withdraw or both.
Still on the subject of Facebook, one lady objected to me posting pictures of ‘scantily-clad ladies’. She objected to my posting such pictures on my Timeline. No one else out of 1400 people had a problem but this one Lady. The odd thing was a few days earlier, I had posted a comment asking people what they wanted to see on my Timeline and what they did not. Only two people responded and she was not one of them.
What was even stranger was this lady is an actress. I asked her what her problem was as she is supposed to be actress. I received no reply and was unfriended. Which is fine by me. All I will say is this: I have a right to write or place images of my choice on my Timeline as long as they are not out and out offensive and does not contravene the rules as laid out by Facebook. Nothing I wrote or presented on my Timeline contravenes any of the Facebook rules. I am demonstrating my democratic right to write about things that affect me and my life generally. I also have the right to present a different take on things, challenge people’s perceptions from time to time. Every picture I have ever posted on my Timeline, has conveyed an idea, demonstrated good art photography or both.
People who are overly sensitive don’t take onboard other people’s feelings when they start objecting to things that are not on their Timeline/Profile. Yes, it is Social Media, they have been invited via Friendship Requests to comment on whatever is posted on one’s Timeline. However when I am told I should even things up by posting pictures of scantily-clad men also, I finally took action. I posted pictures of myself up there. Their response? None. They unfriended me.
Why should I have to post pictures of naked men on my Timeline to placate her? Why didn’t she do it herself? She couldn’t be bothered and is probably so out of touch with her feelings, totally lost and doesn’t really have a view on the subject. I remember meeting this woman on a corporate film project eight years ago and complimented her on how much she looked like Vanessa Redgrave. She wasn’t as tall as Ms. Redgrave but her face was her fortune. My more recent dealings with her explains more clearly why she has not progressed with her career as far as she possibly could have.
I am not into Political Correctness of any kind. It doesn’t work, has never worked and just makes matters worse. Political Correctness has probably put back male/female relations by decades. I am more into ‘Live and Let Live’. Imagine what kind of world we could have, if everyone did just that?