A petty irritation niggles at me every Saturday when the farmer opens his Yorkshire paper. He takes it all week but on Saturdays it has various supplements including one which is all about the country. I enjoy reading it.
But one thing really gets at me. One of the contributors writes a weekly, chatty article outlining what she has been doing all week. But, instead of using chatty language she will use 'big' words and it always seems so unnecessary.
For a few examples:
noticed, instead of saw (I noticed that sheep had been clipped)
luncheon, instead of lunch (the luncheon was delicious)
tasks, instead of jobs (help with a few gardening tasks)
donated, instead of gave (she donated me a much better......)
purchased, instead of bought (I purchased several things)
ventured forth, instead of went for a walk (to see the town)
Is this petty nit-picking? It happens on television too, on antiques programmes, when the expert asks 'where did you get this?' the person often answers 'I purchased it at a car boot sale'. What is wrong with 'bought' or even 'got'.
Maybe I am guilty of this on my blog (if I am will you tell me, please) but it always seems to me that if you are writing a chatty article then you use chatty language. Is it just me?
On a completely different subject, I see in today's paper that the Government are pledging to 'eradicate illiteracy within a generation'. Fifteen percent of children leave Primary School without this skill - a skill which becomes absolutely vital once they reach Comprehensive School, where everything moves at a faster pace and many of the classes may well be mixed ability classes.
Might I make a few suggestions (as an ex-Head of Deparment in a large Comprehensive in a very deprived inner city area) - give the schools more expertly trained, dedicated and committed teachers who know what they are doing in teaching the skills involved in learning to read and write, keep the classes small, and do bear in mind that many of the children we are speaking about come into Primary School having barely held a pencil or seen written language.
And, changing the subject again - the farmer has just cut the verges of the Lane - I am desperately hoping those baby rabbits got out of the way in time.