A little while ago I wrote about some of my favourite prejudices, but it was far from an exhaustive list, and I have a few more things to add to it.
Obviously these are just pedantic pet peeves, and I am not going to stop paying attention completely to somebody who, for example, writes”shouldn’t of”, but they are going to have to work a lot harder to get me to take them seriously.
Today’s additions to the list are:
Starting a sentence with “So”, or to be more specific starting every answer to a question with “so”. I know I have written about this before, but it has become even more prevalent since then and has spread from its origins in American economists and now just about every graduate does it. Just say “um” or “er” like a normal person.
Another thing that winds me up is in this quote from Henry Smith, but it not confined to Tories or even to politicians. It is tediously common in business and I would be astonished if I have not banged on about this before.
While myself and MPs from all parties continue to raise this issue in Parliament and with the Government, rail operator and trade unions, I believe it’s important that GTR management hear directly from the people their service is inconveniencing.
It is, of course, the use of “myself” when “me” is perfectly adequate and grammatically better. Gowers wrote in The Complete Plain Words that “myself should only be used for emphasis or as the reflexive form of the personal pronoun” and Partridge and Fowler both agree, although later editions of Fowler’s Modern English Usage (not edited by Fowler) seem to be relaxing a bit, but even then it doesn’t more or less says it is only just OK as long as the ‘myself’ comes at the end of a list rather than the beginning.
And yes, I do realise how fortunate I am that my life is so good I can afford to get wound up by such trivia.