Does yourself find this awesome?


I happily accept that language is an organic and evolving thing; that’s why we don’t say five and twenty to five for 4.35 any more. I like ‘my bad’ and I can tolerate the odd street speak without being violently ill. But two phrases have been cropping up in my life that drive me into a, foam-at-the-mouth, rage.

The first is the use of yourself in place of you. “Is there anything else yourself would like with that washing machine?”. “Would yourself like extended insurance”. No, the only bloody thing I’d like Mr Illiterate Call Centre person is for you to use the English language properly. It is like a knife stuck in my ribs and the next person who does it will be forced to sing the following Stevie Wonder song….after I’ve explained who Stevie Wonder is.

Yourself are the sunshine of myself life
That’s why I’ll always be around, 
Yourself are the apple of myself eye, 
Forever yourself’ll stay in myself heart 

The next one is AWESOME (always over emphasised). This is a hideous Americanism and actually means cool or excellent. However, it is used as an equivalent of a pause. US radio journalists will listen to a three minute opinion piece on net neutrality, the abolition of female circumcision or particle physics and with nothing to say just spout out…. awesome.

Speaker “…so in conclusion my belief is that if the funding for the LHC is approved we can reduce global warming and provide food and water to 90% of the starving world and it will cost 1% of GDP for most developed nations”

Presenter “………….AWESOME”

Awesome should be reserved for things like fill you with awe, like the birth of your first child, a stunning sunset or Zeus flinging thunderbolts from Mount Olympus. Not some app for your smartphone that makes fart sounds.


One thought on “Does yourself find this awesome?

  1. I’m with you on this, Mark. My personal hate-word variant is ‘myself’ for those grammatically challenged by the choice amongst: me, myself and I. However, you yourself triggered one of *my* pet hates by writing a ‘Clarkson’ sentence, i.e. one with no subject or active verb … ferrchris-sake! Your last one. (There. I’ve done it too!).

    I have a similar feelings about ‘gender’. The real problem there is, because of the widespread abuse of the word, we will soon need a new one when we wish to talk about gender, sensu stricto. A clear example arises precisely when the distinction between an individual’s biological sex and their (=his/her!) social construct of ‘gender’ needs to be clarified. If society is so fussed by the issue, all official forms would need two boxes; one for sex and one for gender. But, as a physiologist, I also appreciate that, as on almost every form, there is good cause for the third box ‘none of the above’.

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