Britain Has Talent

First of all, a big ‘hello’ and ‘how’s things?’ to those of you who never partake in the highly-procrastinating act of reading my blogs. I’m sure the only reason more of you are reading this particular blog and not the rest of my mindless mountain of vacuous drivel is because of the title…. which loosely resembles a popular ITV show.
Now before you start thinking that the only reason I’ve decided upon said title is to lure in new and unsuspecting victims to read my blogs, I do have a strong point to make….
Are we sitting comfortably? This involves grammar!

Britain HAS Talent is surely the correct way of displaying possession in British English, right? Granted, American English (also known as ‘absolute bo***cks’) is welcome to use ‘got,’ but with a show for British people (that even includes the word Britain in its title) we should be getting it right. (Yes, fine, I said ‘getting’…. stop judging me!)
British English and her grammar is, for me, at a crossroads at the moment. On the one hand, Tesco’s decision on ’10 items or fewer’ signage is a definitely a step in the right direction, but when London’s King’s Cross station is contemplating the deletion of the apostrophe on signs displaying said name, grammar dies a little inside.

Grammar and punctuation is very important. Take the following, par example:
LET’S EAT, GRANNY! Thanks to the comma, we can all enjoy a nice meal of soggy cabbage and tripe with our parent’s parents. Otherwise, we’re venturing into the realms of canibalism, and I’m pretty sure that’s frowned upon in most modern societies…. however old they are!
STOP CLUBBING BABY SEALS! Simple enough. This is a no-nonsense stance on animal cruelty. But insert a comma after the word ‘clubbing’ and not only are we condoning the act of mutilating possibly the cutest things alive, but we’re also ruining a good friday night in the Arctic (or wherever seals are from…. Chester Zoo, perhaps?)
STOP! NO SWIMMING! Again, very simple. This sign is letting Rebecca Adlington and her pals know that they shouldn’t swim in this body of water. But place pretty much any form of punctuation after ‘no’ and the sign seems to be drawing your attention to the fact that a good old doggy-paddle is fine in this potentially crocodile-infested pool!

So, regular fans of ‘Britain’s Got Talent,’ I believe I’ve set sound grounds for the boycotting of watching such a grammatical travesty…. and also stop putting more money in the unusually high-up pockets of Mr Cowell. (Note correct British abbreviated form of Mr without the full stop….)!
Myself, I much prefer ‘Take Me Out’ despite the fact I’d never go on it. Aside from the fact I usually cry whenever just one female looks at / assesses me (never mind 30), I’d probably be rather s**t on it anyway.
‘Hello, I’m Stephen and I own approximately 400 books relating to the Celtic languages and I teach Welsh for a living’ …. The sound of ladies turning off their lights would be deafening. And should two remain for me to show my special skill, just the view of my ukelele (3 es in correct British spelling) would be enough to see me off! But at least we’d all be too deaf to hear me, huh?
Before I did leave empty handed, however, I would most certainly explain to Mr McGuinness (mmmm, Guinness) that it would be more grammatically correct to say “Without liking, without lighting” and walk off stage to a crowd-fuelled rendition of ‘All By Myself’ and a not so smiley face 😦


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