Since when did ‘shop’ become a transitive verb?
There was a time when you ‘went shopping’, ‘did the shopping’ or ‘shopped for’ something. You didn’t shop anything – or anyone, unless you were some kind of criminal.
So I was surprised when I checked out Marks and Spencer’s nice new website recently to find several instructions to ‘Shop this outfit’. And it doesn’t stop there: there’s ‘Shop new arrivals’, ‘Shop more occasion outfits’ and ‘Shop our edit’ (how is that even a sentence?). In fact, it’s all over the shop (sorry). Continue reading
Somewhere in the middle of 2012 I found myself asking ‘Since when did disruptive become a compliment?’ In my youth, being disruptive would be something you were sent to the head teacher for. And not so long ago it might have got you before a magistrate. But now it has become something to aspire to. Continue reading
Every year, LinkedIn release their list of the most over-used buzzwords in people’s profiles. And every year, journalists write about it. Partly because newsroom cuts mean that churnalism is getting more prevalent. And partly because writers can’t resist news (even if it’s spurious non-news) about words. Continue reading
Is there such a thing as a crime against English? Or are some of us just too pedantic for our own good? Continue reading
I came across two interesting crimes against English on my travels. They don’t at first seem to have much in common, apart from a disregard for the essence of a coherent sentence. But when I thought about it I found there was a link.
In a ladies’ toilet in a Dublin office block I saw this notice: ‘We would kindly ask all users not to discard toilet tissue in the sanitary bins provided.’ The word ‘kindly’ seems a bit out of place here (although it’s nice that they are trying to be polite). That’s not the crime, though. Continue reading
Seen at Reading railway station: a banner with the words ‘Please take care on the station. Do not run.’ And underneath in smaller print: ‘This is a First Great Western safety initiative.’
No, it’s not. It’s a poster.