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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

'Words matter', as  BBC political presenters keep telling us.

BBC News has just reported a "collision" between a powerful motor-cycle outrider of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge hastening to Windsor and an 80-year old female who is now in a serious if stable condition. This recalls our local police's description of a similar "collision" on Hornsey High Road between a 54-year old female and a van some time ago. The colliding lady sadly died, though we have had no report on the condition of the van. 

Could middle-aged and elderly females please desist from colliding with motorised vehicles going about their lawful concerns?

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re Tigha's recent post, 'Any Thoughts on This?', I'm inclined to make an exception to my usual Latin rule. If a pedestrian Yoga teacher with eyes only for her damned mobile gadget steps onto the carriageway in the path of a cycling gardener, that can be rightly said to be a "collision" and the mindless Yoga teacher shouldn't get a penny in compensation.  I have not heard that the 80-yr old female mowed/mown down by the Royal outrider was on her phone at the time or is even a Yoga teacher. She cannot be said to have "collided" with the motor-bike any more than if it had struck a tree or lamp-post. 

I completely agree with you. Reporters are taught to use the collided with construction to avoid appearing to apportion blame and prejudice any future court case. But I think that's rarely a valid concern and always mealy mouthed. I totally agree with you.

My bigger problem is with the use of an adjective as a noun. The outrider ran into an 54 year old woman. My response to the BBC news report was 'a 54 year old female' ... what? A female human?

I always wince at the misuse of " sadly ", as in " The colliding lady sadly died ". How do we know how she felt about it ?

Better might be " Sadly, the colliding lady died "

Thanks, John. I stand corrected. Wince no more. A misplaced 'hopefully' gives me my most winceable moments.

John D - it gets my goat when authorities use 'sadly' or 'unfortunate', like those letters from pension providers that say, "In the sad event of your demise', etc.  Not at all sad for them and an affront to those affected that strangers should express such an emotion.

Once, confused by 'look left' and 'look right' signs painted on the road, I walked into a passing taxi.  It only brushed me and I was not hurt at all.  I'd probably describe that as a collision.

I don't suppose it really matters, as long as we understand what is meant, but I mourn the virtual disappearance  of the word " might " as in the past usage of " may ". 

" If Hitler had been given lots of hugs, WW2 may never have happened. "

I'm sorry, but there is documentary evidence and film to prove that it DID happen.

And a Daily Telegraph columnist can write " Rory is the best of the two ".

I know that language changes, but why does it have to be for the worse ?

"I was sat" as in I was placed there by someone or something.

There's a difference between " floor " (inside )  and " ground " ( outside ) .

Yes, words matter.


Let’s make a list :

‘should of’ instead of “should have’

’disinterested’ to mean ‘uninterested’ (ok, it’s debatable, but I value the distinction)

’to Jim and I’ instead of ‘to Jim and me’

’criteria, phenomena’ used in a singular sense instead of ‘criterion, phenomenon’

‘referenda’ instead of ‘referendums’

’to impact (on)’ where ‘to affect’ or ‘to influence’ is sufficient

and don’t get me started on the death of the subjunctive, using nouns as verbs (e.g. ‘gifted’), and the substitution of ‘like’ for reported speech - “and I was like ‘Yes’, and he was like ‘No way!’”

Pedantry aside, it’s usage that determines what is correct, but I don’t envy grammarians of the future trying to explain constructions such as ‘should of’.


" How's yourself " ? To which the logical answer is " Myself is fine " 



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