Hear ye, hear ye.
LOVING THE LANGUAGE
Advertisers, politicians, journalists and even school teachers, doesn’t anybody learn English grammar these days?
There cannot be ‘less’ things, ‘less’ times or ‘less’ people. Less is the descriptor of quantity. The descriptor of number is ‘fewer’. Less is for money or petrol. Fewer is for the number of mistakes in everyday speech and print.
Speaking of grammar, there are lots of things teachers don’t teach these days, such as number agreement.
A plural noun demands a preceding plural verb. There are lots of things. Never use there’s followed by a plural.
Then there are the relative pronouns ‘who’ and ‘whom’. Nominative and accusative cases.
Finally, journalists – and everyone else – should remember that there is never a time to split infinitives.
‘To’ plus the infinitive of the verb must always stick together, like Brian and Ferry. C’mon, c’mon. They stick together. Never split your infinitives. To always do this, your copy will end up on the editor’s spike. Remember everyone, to never do this. Ever!
CHOOSE THE RIGHT WORD
After reading Josie Robinson’s letter “Not getting the Pitcher” (August) I would like to respond by adding another pet peeve.
No matter how educated people are, some don’t seem to know the difference between “bought” and “brought”. Bought means to buy and brought means to bring.
I don’t know how many times I hear these two words used incorrectly on television, by presenters, newsreaders, personalities and in advertising.
Another irritation is the saying someone “was hit by a car”. A car is an inanimate object and not capable of hitting someone unless faulty. It’s a person driving a car that is the real culprit. Perhaps by saying it was a car it takes some of the blame off the human behaviour. The expression should be “hit by a person driving a car”.
CUT THE MUSIC
Una Daniels, (August). Yes, yes, yes. I do agree – why is background music necessary in TV dramas and documentaries?
I wrote to the ABC on this but received no reply. Now my whinge. Australian speech is peppered with “ya, no, you know”. Used by one and all.
I have turned off evening radio interviews from sheer frustration.
Like TV background music, it’s distracting and detracting. Perhaps Ted Webber could take this on board.
Hear ye, hear ye. Yes, yes Una Daniels (August). There are plenty of us out here who agree with you. I have rung Channel 10 to complain about music being played when trying to hear dialogue during a sad tale on The Project, but guess they were probably not interested or just didn’t care. They know best. It is very distracting and annoying. Any suggestions out there?
CAUTION FOR NOMADS
YT (Sept) suggests that a couple who own a home and little else will spend up to $250K on a mobile home and stash the balance.
The advice of people who, like ourselves, have spent many years on the road, is that you need to either keep your house or have enough in the bank to buy a home if health or other factors make travel no longer possible.
We have seen one couple forced to live permanently in a caravan park.
Another reasonably well-off businessman sold his house and bought the caravan he wanted and changed his car for a suitable vehicle to tow it.
He did not think he would ever want to go back into a house, but had enough in shares if he needed to buy a house. His health deteriorated at about the time of the Global Financial Crisis. His widow now lives in rental accommodation.
Life on the road is great, but be prepared for changes in circumstances.
Barrie & Daryll Webb
FAIR GO FOR NEW ZEALAND
I’ve just found your September issue and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the letters about background music on television.
However, there was one thing that rankled. In the article “Land of the long white cloud” it says “New Zealand. . . it really is so compact.”
It might be compact compared to Australia but not when compared to many places. According to Google Maps, it’s a 2083km drive taking 28 hours from Bluff to Cape Reinga.
That compares to just 1348 km taking 14½ hours from Lands End to John O’Groats.
In other words, it takes almost twice as long to drive from one end of the country in New Zealand as it does in the UK.
I enjoyed your story about the caravan nomads (September).
My wife and I were lawn bowlers and invited to participate in a carnival in Western Australia. We had never been there and decided to hire a motorhome for four months.
We took off early to play bowls along the track and visit friends.
We always stayed in van parks to share ideas about places to see and chug a stubbie or two with our neighbours.
We had a glorious bowls carnival in Fremantle and then took off across the Nullarbor, travelling through the southern states and finally arriving home with lots of memories (but no bowls trophy).
I would advise others to get out and DO IT as life is too short.
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