Barlow's Beef: What language are we speaking?


You know what? I'm getting really tired of Americanisms infiltrating our language. We already have a language. It's called English... doh.

I don't know about you guys but I refuse to get down with the kidz. They like giving me the heads-up on how to be cool and I'm like 'whatever.'

I bought a coffee today (triple latte frappe cappi etc).

And was asked if I wanted it to go.

Now, I'm well acquainted with the internet but as far as I'm aware you can't email hot coffee to an address of your choice.

I shall certainly not be friending this barista. And while we are on the subject what size is a medium Americano because mine was huge. Had my bladder been the size of the Goodyear Blimp it would have been acceptable but c'mon.

Can you believe a UPVC window company actually informed me I had a small window in which to take advantage of their discount offer? A small window in which to buy... a window. Does that make any sense? When did a pane of glass become a measurement of time?

They then proceeded to give me a quote for six windows at £300 each and arrived at a total of £2100. (You do the math).

Back in the day you were expected to do simple multiplication like this in your head.

One of the Americanisms I hate is outage as in a power outage. There is no such word as outage. It is cut... a power cut. Don't screw around with it. It is what it is... period.

And when someone enquires about your health. Do not say, "I'm good" You are either well or you are not well. It's for others to decide how good you are.

Why are we always being urged to step up to the plate? Surely stepping up to the wicket would be more apt? And when did football managers become coaches? Probably around the same time centre forwards morphed into strikers.

Anyone using these Americanisms should be sent to a correction facility (whatever that may be).

Now, I'm not a stupid person but try as I may I cannot comprehend 'the least worst option'. There is only one 'worst option' therefore there is nothing to which it can be compared.

Managers who insist on uttering such gibberish should be made to study grammar 24/7 innit?

Why do TV show judges urge contestants to give their performance 110 per cent? Where does that extra come from? I'm intrigued. After the contestant keels over from the gigantean effort of giving their all do they have a relative waiting in the wings to supply the extra thrust?

Hate is a word I rarely use except when discussing Tony Blair or those who pronounce the word Aluminium as Aluminum.

Going forward I shall insist that anyone found guilty of mangling the English language (or dragging us into an illegal war) be trampled on by ZEEBRAS.


The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of

Barlow's Beef, Vic Barlow


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 2nd September 2015 at 11:31 am
And it's a Railway Station not a Train Station.
John Clegg
Wednesday 2nd September 2015 at 11:55 am
You're pushing the envelope, there, Vic, but I'm glad you blue-skied your thinking. Amercanization?
John Clegg
Wednesday 2nd September 2015 at 12:04 pm
And I should have started my reply with "@Vic B", rather than "Dear Vic, how are you, old stick?", etc...
Laurie Atterbury
Wednesday 2nd September 2015 at 1:34 pm
Vic, in your section re the windows quote you state (You do the math). Mathematics has an s on the end and I wonder whether your realist americans refer to "the math”. Is this a slip on your part or have you become partly american without realising it, or are you just testing to see who spots your deliberate slip?
Vic Barlow
Thursday 3rd September 2015 at 3:48 pm
I be down wid da kidz innit?
Julie Green
Friday 4th September 2015 at 8:24 am
You can also have great fun on a rainy afternoon counting up the typos and grammatical errors in any of our daily or weekly newspapers!
Manuel Golding
Friday 4th September 2015 at 1:44 pm
Vic, Please excuse my belated but equally squirm making hatred of "new wave" pronunciation of the word "schedule". For decades we've always said "shed-ule" but now the BBC, that former arbiter of all good English pronunciation, has taken to "sked-ule", the ignorant Americanisation of English with other ignoramus following the lead.
You mentioned 'aluminium', for many years I really had no idea what 'aluminum' was.
However, it is wonderful to use English words and phraseology when in the USA - they often have no idea to what I am referring or meaning.
Dave Cash
Friday 4th September 2015 at 4:31 pm
Bet they scratch their heads when you ask a porter to put your 'trunk' in the 'boot' Manuel?
According to OED, 'schedule' (slip of paper, list) is derived from the Greek word 'schede' meaning papyrus leaf.
Manuel Golding
Sunday 6th September 2015 at 4:55 pm
The possibilities for confusing them o'er yon are limitless Dave.