Sunday, 14 May 2017

"Mind your language"

Like many people I use Facebook as there are a number of groups on there I interact with, and - for example - my IPTV provider uses a closed group to answer technical problems with certain channels. I often read these posts, as my knowledge increases by seeing how other problems are resolved. Unfortunately, being Facebook, there is the ability for people to comment on other peoples' posts.

I posted the other day about the HD version of a channel, and pointed out that the definition was too high to play smoothly on my television, which only played at a maximum of 720 dpi, rather than proper HD which is 1080 dpi. The first comment was "For fuck's sake, get with the programme." It took me a few minutes to work out what this guy was referring to, and this was helped by the next post. "Christ, don't be such a fucking tight wad. HD TVs are as cheap as chips." There were other posts in a similar vein, almost all using somewhat robust language.

In any event it caused me to think about the way bad language has permeated all levels of society, from the Duke of Edinburgh telling a photographer "Just take the fucking picture" to the poorly educated who commented about my television set. What a great shame for all who value the English language and the English way of life. I can remember a headmaster telling the boys at a school where I taught about bad language. He explained that it was a fact of life that people swore. As I remember he told them that when he hit his thumb with a hammer he did not just say "Oh bother". He was telling impressionable schoolboys that there should be a legitimate reason for using bad language.

I went back to Facebook and read random comments made in other groups. Many, many posters were almost functionally illiterate and could not construct a meaningful sentence. Yes ... I do understand that this is social media and that "text speak" is all the rage. But ... I cannot decide whether this makes me an old fogey or not. On balance I swear when the metaphorical hammer hits my thumb. The decision, as they say, is yours.

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