Thursday, 17 November 2011

Americanisms in the English Language...

I suppose that I'm probably as guilty as most of you when, from time to time, I use American English, slang, and idioms. However, I'm slowly coming to the boil over some so-called words creeping into the language over here, when they should have firmly stayed over there instead.

One, at the time of writing, really stands head and shoulders above the rest for sheer stupidity. It's the use of the word "prepackaged".

When one packages something, one is either wrapping something, or putting something in a box or other form of container. The way the Americanism was used in this case, was by a wholesale trade food supply company. "Prepackaged foods to the food industry", was the slogan on the side of the van, its refrigeration unit, perched on to of the cab, was almost big enough for the diminutive driver to have walked into, I suspect.

The image that emerged, unbidden, from my mind as I read the slogan, was of a cow, walking into the slaughter shed and, as it died, falling apart to land on the ground as a couple of dozen cardboard boxes. It would certainly put a fair few qualified butchers out of work, were this to happen, but that's not the point.

What does "prepackaged" actually *mean*? Anyone?

I do appreciate that English is a constantly evolving language. I also feel that for a word to be used in everyday language, surely it should actually have some meaning, rather than be some kind of buzz-word that someone the other side of the Atlantic thinks sounds 'cool'?

I'd appreciate a few comments on this, if you have the time.

Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

New masthead...

You might have noticed that I've updated the masthead image.

I reckoned that since not everything in this Blant was bus-related, a better idea would be for a photo of london. So, there it is.

Anyway, I hunted for a spot in London that would give me a good vew of the centre of the city, while including a few iconic buildings, and in a place that I could take the photo without having to ask permission, or pay good money for the privilage of standing in one place long enough to compose and take the darn thing. This is the end result. Taken on a nice sunny day a few months ago (when the smog was still rising!) from Westow Hill in Crystal Palace, I then had a heck of a lot of work in digitally removing all the telephone wires from the photo (The Gimp - a photographic software package much like Adobe Photoshop, but open-source and thus free - can be very handy at times, even if the learning curve is a pain!), but the end result has been worth it, I think :)

On the downside, it's not as colourful or bright as I'd have liked; it's amazing how we all seem to remember it as a colourful place, when in reality, all the modern structures tend to fall into one shade of blue-grey or another, when viewed from a distance. I'll be working on and off over the next few months to see if i can introduce a colour difference into the background image, but don't hold your breath ;-)

In the meantime, if you've got comments or suggestions, I'm all ears :-)


Grammar drives me nuts at times; I'm generally good at it (you may have noticed this, reading the many entries in this blog), but even I get things wrong from time to time (most especially with the use of the apostrophe). However, one thing that drives me completely round the twist, when I read other peoples' work, is the ever-lasting battle between "Your" and "You're".

So, in a hopeful spirit of assistance, here's a handy guide...

"You're" is a contraction (a shortening, in other words) for "you are". It is easy enough to decipher, again just insert "you are" into your sentence instead of "you're" or "your" and you will know the correct usage.

Examples of "Your"

  • It is time for your English Language lesson.
    (It is time for you are English Language lesson doesn't make sense.)
  • We will go to your re-enactment display after we eat.
    (We will go to you are re-enactment display does not make sense.)

Examples of "You're"

  • You're going to be the first in line.
    (You are going to be the first in line.)
  • You're going to be driving the first car in this parade.
    (You are going to be driving the first car in this parade.)
And in case you're rather lost on the use of the apostrophe - as I can be from time to time - here's a helpful guide... enjoy!

I hope that helps everone.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Nice old-fashioned pub...

Well, I'm on the way to our head office today, as some twit in the EU decided, a few years back, that it'd be a jolly good laugh to make LGV & PSV drivers take some after-market training in how to do our jobs - after, that is, we actually get through all the hoops to get our vocational licences. Another way to either bleed more cash from self-employed drivers, or rake it in from our employers. Either way, another damn fine reason to get out of the EU.

Anyhow, while on the way to the main depot, I saw this nice old pub - it's at Catford Bridge, and I'm sorry to say that I didn't get its name, but wow, you don't see many buildings like this - especially inside the M25 belt - these days - and wonder of wonder, it's still being used as a pub! In these hardened times, where pubs are closing down at a truly horrifying rate, it's gratifying to see a pub, built ages ago, still trading!