Your Say

Dear Editor,

I love the English language, always have done since starting to read at four. I’ve written a lot of books, edited and published a lot more, given speeches and the language of Shakespeare, Churchill and others still delights me. So I hate the infestations that affect it.

I detested the plague of “like” that rose from the California Valley Girls like the Covid infection rising from the food markets of China. (Note the correct use of “like.”) Mercifully, that horror seems to be declining.

But even worse, is the “than what” disease. As in, “She grew taller than what I expected.” Or, “He scored more runs than what we forecast.” What is wrong with “She grew taller than I expected”? Or “He scored more runs than we forecast?” Why the gratuitous excess verbiage? It seems to have grown in recent years and it’s ugly. I wish people would speak the language properly.

Bah, humbug. I’m going for my nap.

Michael Davies


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