Getting on in life


A reunion meeting of old school friends was an opportunity for us to vent our spleens over some of the things that get us wound up these days. It seems that the older us men get the more we rant and rave over the most silly of things. I find myself shouting at the television over the most minor of slips of the tongue, split infinitives and other such nonsense.

We were meeting at Quilliams just by Newcastle University, at an undersized table, when Al came down the stairs. He told us how he had heard on the radio that they had discovered an unexploded bomb. Why did they not just say a bomb? If it had exploded then they would have discovered a large hole instead. Just like his rant, there was really no need to use the unnecessary words.

These thing shouldn’t really matter yet they get to us all, or at least some of us. Certain words grate on my ears and make my blood boil. Why? I have no idea.

A couple of my (least) favourites are when people use euros as a plural when euro acts as both the singular and plural of the currency, just like sheep. The other is the use of panini as a singular when it  is clearly a plural. Panino is a small bread, panini is its plural form. You cannot and should not order a panini just like you cannot order a single buns.

My latest pet hate though is the completely unnecessary and incorrect use of the word epicentre when it is used to mean the middle of something. In reality It is the point on the earth’s surface vertically above the focus of an earthquake. The epicentre is the point at which the earthquake comes to the surface. Instead, the simple word centre will do.

I know language evolves and there are more important things to get exercised about but that is what happens when you become and old man.

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