Friday, 14th May 2021

'With regards to yourself' and other annoying ways people speak

LEARN to speak proper and not get on other people’s nerves by avoiding these five common mistakes:

Footballer tense

Known as the perfect tense by purists, it’s widely used by footballers and pundits, eg. ‘He’s got round the back and he’s crossed the ball’. Also popular with the police, as in ‘He’s gone into the shop without a face mask and I’ve gone in and I’ve spoke to him’. Makes you sound strangely like a robot.

Upspeak

Making every statement of fact sound like a question sounds as if you’re constantly seeking validation. Either that or you were brought up on a 1990s diet of Friends, Home and Away, and Sex and the City.

Misapprehensions

It’s irritating when, in an attempt to sound knowledgeable, people use long words without having a clue what they actually mean. They probably think Portmanteau is a lovely little resort near Biarritz where one can sit by the harbour with a bottle of Chateaubriand.

Salesperson speak

If someone has called to mis-sell you PPI and you haven’t put the phone down on them, you’ll have heard them using unnecessarily long phrases like ‘with regards to yourself’. They believe this makes them sound well-spoken, but ‘like a dickhead’ is more accurate.

Circumlocution

Do you ramble on in a foppish way, unable to say what’s really on your mind? It’s either the result of being sent to public school, watching too many Richard Curtis films starring Hugh Grant or possibly being Boris Johnson and thinking this affectation impresses people. Which, sadly, it appears it does.