Language sunk into morass of mediocrity

ANNEMARIE Field has been running a series of readers’ pet hates in her column recently and I was reminded of one of mine last Saturday night.

I joined a splendid local church community group for an evening of magic and fish ‘n’ chips.

The two magicians involved were impressive to a fault. But they would keep addressing their audience - a mixed group of men and women of all ages - as ‘you guys’.

One can be thankful fashions in language are generally short-lived but how much longer is this ghastly Americanism too far going to persist? And how did we get on before it took firm hold?

Perhaps the popular musical ‘Guys and Dolls’ is now to be renamed ‘Guys and Guys’, or even merely ‘Guys’. Neither has quite the same ring.

The incongruity is completed by those women who do not mind being described as a guy but who baulk at being addressed as a chairman.

I make a plea for a return to gender-neutral terms for mixed company. Yet this is only one example of how our language, our beautiful language, has sunk into a morass of cliche and mediocrity.

At the end of the day that really really is the bottom line and stuff. Hopefully somebody out there can see where I’m coming from.... literally.

EDWARD THOMAS

Collington Close