Thursday 12 January 2017


Every time I hear or read a grammatical or syntax mistake my pedantic inner ear behaves as if a whole orchestra had played a wrong note.  It can't be helped.  That's how things are.  I know people who have such a sensitive sense of smell that they have, if it's possible, to move to a different table in a restaurant when a heavily perfumed diner turns up.  Their hearing is so acute they can hear a pin drop  I have known musicians who, seeing me look around to track a noise will say "No: it's coming from over there." exactly opposite to where I was looking.  Anyway, I have allowed myself to believe that my reaction to atonality is just such a legitimate physical attribute.

The other day I was reading in the paper about an aristocrat who had taken a rather unusual step to ensure the continuation of his line "It seemed like a good idea to 'name-of-wife' and I."  Now this gentleman - literally - must have gone most likely to Eton or similar and even to a good enough university.  How is it possible he can make such an ill-informed mistake?  If you take out the wife you would be left with "It seemed a good idea to I.." well, I don't think so. I do know that it is a mistake which crops up all the time and clashes with my well-being all the time.  If in doubt, all one has to do is to remove the second or more person and see how it would sound, then, as in anecdote  above,  With nothing more pressing to do I am tempted to red line and count the number of singular nouns married to plural verbs in the daily papers.  "The group do..." where my inner ear would want "The group does..."    Why, in the name of Current World Chaos should we give a d..n? Because it seems to me symptomatic of a dangerous failure of boundaries and a loss of formality, or formulation, of  an organised way of being in the world: sloppy lanquage equals sloppy morals, behaviour, standards and so on and so on. (What do you think?  I do wonder how much value this preoccupation adds to my life, but at its nicest it is fun and at its most pedantic it gives me something else concrete to fret about).
On the more delightful side of life, I had a very nice experience during a visit to my G.P. (General Practioner or 'everyday' Doctor if you are over the Pond). He asked about my appetite.which has diminished somewhat.  "Oh dear" said he, " we shall have to keep an eye on you to see you do not lose too much weight."  How many decades have I, and so many other women, waited and longed for just such an admonition. Bore da

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