I wonder if the women in Jane Austen's day fretted over issues such as the use of lazy English? Possibly, for what else is there to do after you've played the pianoforte a bit, sewed a bit, read a bit, eyed off a handsome rich man and taken a turn about the room a bit?
In 2009/10, there would be much to discuss. Over the past year, I've noticed more ridiculous additions to, omissions from and mispronunciations of the language - and it's driving me to drink (at least, that's my excuse).
The latest annoyance is the use of the word 'anyways'. Since when did 'anyway' inherit an 's'? With the addition of one useless letter, the Canadians and Americans (for they are the culprits) have screwed up a perfectly good word. And now bloody dumb Aussies are doing it too.
Another addition is 'off of'. What is this abomination? Why do you need to add an 'of' when you're telling someone to get 'off' something?
Here's another one that will drive me to despair up until New Year's Day. "Over New Year's I'm going to get off my face." It's not the 'off my face' that offends, but the 'New Year's'.
Strictly speaking, it should be referred to as 'the New Year' or 'New Year's Day'. But laziness means the 'Day' is lost.
And here's the most annoying trend of all.
When referring to big numbers and years, there used to be an 'and' to separate the thousands and hundreds from those numbers in the tens.
For example, next year is 2010, which used to be "two thousand and ten". But the 'and' is slowly disappearing. So now many radio and TV commentators refer to it as "two thousand ten".
What happened to the AND?
I know, I know, I should get a life and just write about vomiting adolescents and man-eating sharks.
Don't get me started on the pronunciation of 'route' and 'Uranus'!
PS: You do the maths!