Monday, 2 July 2007

Don't pluralise it, idiot.

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Chatting with a like-minded individual is always good. In this case the like-minded person is my brother, Matt. His grammatical bugbear, which he invited me to share with the world, is the idiotic practise of pluralisation of inherently singular places or people.

It's a trait seen mostly in Football, especially managers or commentators. They regularly utter phrases such as:

You've got your David Beckhams, your Tierry Henrys, your Scholeses, your Giggses, your Shearers.
Equally you have:
You know, you've got your Londons, your New Yorks, your Milans.
Perhaps the borderline unforgivable:
You're not likely to catch the Man U's, the Arsenals, the Liverpools, the Chelseas of this world. They're too far ahead.

There is only one London, one New York, one David Beckham (aren't we all grateful?) and only one Tierry Henry. To say otherwise is not only idiotic, it's utterly illogical piffle. And why is it the cretins who do this count out on their fingers and look towards the sky? I suppose it simply shows they're having to concentrate to even get that far.

Finally, since I'm dissecting, the "of this world" part is deeply irritating; while I'm no expert on extraterrestrial life, I don't expect that, were they to play football on Mars (for example), they would have teams called Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea. And I'm certain they wouldn't have "Manchester Uniteds, Arsenals, Liverpools or Chelseas."

Blogger Matt said...

Never a truer word spoken.

"The money at the top of the game just makes life harder for the Boltons and Birminghams of this world."

Oh right, so now the Premier league is allowing clubs to play more than one team is it? The league grows in size by virtue of the fact that you just said it has? I think not.

Please leave your cretinous comments at home Sir. They are not welcome on my TV, in my pub, or at my football ground.

A quick congratulations to Pablo for articulating the point so well is also in order.

2 July 2007 at 22:14  
Blogger Paul said...

Cheers, youth.

2 July 2007 at 22:18  
Blogger Gez said...

Paul, although neither Dan or I have ever met you, you have echoed a conversation that we have had many times.

Thank God for the Pauls of this world.

3 July 2007 at 09:23  
Blogger Dan said...

Reading that is a perfect start to my day.

I've noticed this pluralisation has crept from football into many other spheres now: politicians regularly talk of, say, “the Tony Blairs of this world”.

I imagine people in the future talking like this about everything, e.g. “So I went shopping, bought some basics, you know the toilet rolls and the breads of this world”.

Probably a bad example but I don’t think like one suffering plural illness.

3 July 2007 at 09:42  
Blogger Gez said...

I've been thinking about this: I think the preceding phrase, "You've got your..." is just as annoying as the unnecessary plural. It's use presumes I am on the same level as the speaker and I understand what he/she is talking about. Well, I'm not and I don't.

3 July 2007 at 11:29  
Blogger Paul said...

I should commend my brother, who first highlighted the issue to me. He has more, and these will be brought to the fore over the coming weeks. I love this blog.

3 July 2007 at 13:25  

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