Saturday 13 December 2014


In response to the second 'comment' writer on 'Addiction' I will, indeed, expand on 'accuratology', at the obvious risk of boring the rest of you. (There you are, I have already fallen in to the addictive trap: should 'accuratology', as written above, have one or two inverted commas? Believe me. It is not a  condition to identify as a laughing matter). I do see that it may well be confused with pedantry - see 'comment' number 1.   My inner voice knows they are different but the rest of me  continues to thrash it out. Perhaps, a few more examples will help clarifification. Spelling is rife with them. Why has 'mediaeval' to be 'medieval'?  I wince every time I come across the latter rendition. Why say 'intervention' when what has been received is an enquiry? The play ended at 10.15pm. No it didn't: it was 10.16.We last met in August 2010. No we didn't. It was September. It's only about 100 yards away. No it's not. It's 99.9 yards away. Can you imagine how an accuratologist feels when the setting of a play or an opera is up-dated from its intrinsic period to, for instance, the present day? Have you ever seen an astronaut draw a sword?

You can see how one's circle could be driven mad by the manifestation of this condition. Someone close to me insists that none of it - grammar, syntax, spelling - matters as long as one is understood. I, on the contrary, see language serving, among other things, as a  boundary. The confines of correctness represent order and reliability. When we ignore it chaos may well ensue. What this old lady sees as the collapse of manners and consideration is a perilous indication of such chaos. I am not used to seeing fit young men in the seats on a 'bus supposedly reserved for the less able. Likewise, I am not a happy bunny when I have been waiting for the nice disabled loo, on the level, no stairs and a very able-bodied young person comes out having taken long enough to complete a whole toilette.

 I am not sure how helpful accuratology is when practised at the hospital enquiry desk. My colleague may say - " Down that corridor, on the right." Yours truly will say - " Along that corridor, second clinic on the right". Who knows: the expansion may make the patient late for her/his appointment. But I can't sit easy on my chair when 'down' means 'below' so the patient could expect to be dropped though the floor. However, and it's a big however, while my forty-year old self may be jumping up and down with anger and frustration, the presenting present day self is calm and acceptance incarnate. Prynhawn da.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Liz
On a more serious note, when our local Vicar left another came who wanted to be called Father. He was not my father and it just kept annoying my sense of reality. What does anyone else think?