Good English

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 31st July 2014


I despair these days at how many people end sentences with a preposition, including TV and Radio presenters, writers in papers and those who ought to know better.

It isn’t just incorrect it is actually rather ugly. I think I know why they do this in news bulletins – it is because it saves a fraction of a second. In my newsreading days, timing was three words to the second so if you knock off a few words here and there you are able to reduce the time.

I love Classic FM and they have some fascinating information on their website. Today there’s a piece on Composers in the First World War who were
‘gassed, bankrupted, inspired. The great composers were deeply affected by the Great War – whether or not they fought in it’

I clicked to this highly interesting piece and found a very good example of ending a sentence with a preposition –

On 24 March 1916, a German torpedo hit the cross-Channel ferry Granados was travelling on. The composer drowned after he jumped out of his lifeboat to save his wife, who also perished.

For the sake of a word, wouldn’t it read and sound much better as

….. a German torpedo hit the cross-Channel ferry on which Granados was travelling.

Further gripes - and I know I’m being pedantic but the correct form is ‘ different from’ not ‘different to’.

The other day, I read that it is now acceptable to say ‘ bored of’ instead of the more correct ‘bored with’.

And as for the use of ‘like’ after every few words, it makes me mad. So many of the young use this that I wonder if it is coupled with their rapid speech in which they chew the ends off words – perhaps their brains are working ahead of their mouths and ‘like’ is the modern day equivalent of ‘er’ or ‘um’.

I know I’m a Grumpy Old Woman and do understand that language is ever changing but there are certain rules which make our language more musical. And as for people suggesting that we should do away with punctuation!!!!!! Heaven forbid. In fact, not obeying the rules of grammar and word order often leads to ambiguities which I notice, particularly in news bulletins.

Many years ago, I came across a long sentence which was then written with a comma after the first word, then the second, then the third etc. and so forth. Each time the comma was inserted, the sense changed. I do wish I could find that sentence again.

Also, if one is not conversant with Grammar, it is more difficult to learn a foreign language.

Several years ago, I was amazed to meet teenagers in Croatia and Siberia who spoke better grammatically correct English than their counterparts in this country.

English is one of the most expressive and beautiful languages in the world, please try to retain it as such.


Addendum - Of course I should have realized that this would get picked up by a journalist who now wants to interview me.  I can't un-say what I've written so heaven knows how much flack I shall engender once the article is published.

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