object to the use of “@” @s @ repl@cement for the letter “a” in
“sm@rt @nd trendy” internet comp@ny n@mes (The Book Pl@ce is the
first culprit I’ve seen).
“Pl@ce” pronounced? Playce or Platseh (to rhyme with 'the')? The
symbol “@” is a “commercial at,” used in finance and book-keeping:
100 apples @ 30p ea. = £30. This should appear, in correctly written
English, as: One hundred apples at thirty pence each equals £30.
inst@nces, we @ll underst@nd “***” to st@nd for “f-u-c” in the word
***k. @re we to ren@me @ll those pretty flowers ***hsi@s?
m@tter? Well, for me it does. We h@ve progressed @ long w@y since
Sh@kespe@re could spell his n@me just @s he wished. If, for ex@mple,
we now@d@ys referred to @ Sh@kespe@r without the fin@l “e” could we
be sure we me@nt Willi@m Sh@kespe@re? No! We h@ve the benefit of @
st&@rdised spelling so everyone is in no doubt wh@t is me@nt.
If the trend
continues in the use of m@them@tic@l signs inste@d of letters when
will we st@rt re@ding “The ×”? Will MFI @dvertise “+h sof@s”? Or
will Mr Kipling make @pple µes? Will Yorkshiremen e@t µkelets
instead of crumpets? Will nuns be µous? (I've had to resort to the
symbol "µ" because I cannot find the correct symbol for the Greek
with being trendy, so back to reality! I accept that TV programmes
describing “The Joy of Text” were dealing with one specific use of
our language. But let’s not all jump on the bandwagon. There is a
place for this mangling of English I suppose but not in written or
printed work. The transitory text message is one thing, the work of
literature or information is another. And surely for clarity we need
a universally understood set of characters.
character often currently misused is “&.” Traditionally, this
character (called an ampersand) was used only in titles of
companies: Smith & Jones. Now, unfortunately, it appears in general
use in text in all manner of documents: “. . . in all parts of
Yorkshire & the north.” How soon will it be before we see signs
outside cafés for “Egg S&wiches, Cheese S&wiches, etc.”?
Or when will
we see a florist advertising @c@ci@s along with his ***hsi@s? Or
st&ard roses? Will policemen start £ing the beat?
indicate a missing letter or letters as we all know. But there are
rules in English covering these instances. But what did the
apostrophe mean in the pop group Hear’Say? Absolutely nothing. Where
do you hyphenate the word, before or after? What purpose did it
serve, other than to annoy traditionalists like me? Or was someone
suggesting that the band had something missing – like talent?
in favour of using symbols could go further. Why not use “?” and “!”
as follows: “The police ?ed the prisoner,” or “ ‘It’s hot,’ he !”
draw the line at “npower,” the sponsors of cricket, and why e e
cummings and k d lang decided their names should be in lower case
baffles me entirely. I see no reason to deny that proper nouns begin
with a capital letter.
For me, there
is absolutely no benefit to be gained abusing the 26 letters we have
inherited. We have lost the long “s” and diphthongs “ĉ” and “œ” in
modernising the alphabet. Why step backwards and start using
unnecessary symbols in place of the current English letters? Partly
these misuses have arisen through the use of computers. Anyone can
now create their own material, and the traditions and guidelines of
550 years of typesetting are being neglected. If the current trend
continues, don’t be surprised if we revert back to our work being
totally unintelligible as we each use words in our own way.
twenty-six English letters are referred to in the saying: “With
twenty-six lead soldiers I can rule the world.” Why weaken them for
the sake of being trendy?
has an Internet C@fé! and a life insurance from Royal & Sun Alliance
is called MORE TH>N. What’s the point? What do you think? Am I being
old-fashioned and behind the times? It wouldn’t surprise me in the