Friday, 4 December 2009

An overdue rant about dumbing down...

This is a another subject that I am passionate about and I think that my feelings on the subject confirm my geriatric status.  It's the sort of thing that only seems to offend Grumpy Old Men & Women, and the younger generation appear to be the worst offenders.

The first subject of the rant is my beloved Strictly Come Dancing, and they have offended me on two counts.  Whilst it is nothing personal, and she does appear to be a very nice, fun person,  it does revolve around the appointment of Alesha Dixon as a judge.  Firstly, how exactly is she as qualified as Arlene Phillips to judge a dance competition?  She was a contestant herself not so long ago and is a popstar (of sorts) for goodness sake.  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a big fan of Arlene's and I'm not jumping on the 'ageism' band wagon.  I don't care that she was replaced, but it was the quality of the replacement that upsets me.  If it had been Darcey Bussell then I would have had no complaint.  She is qualified to comment on and judge dancing...but a popstar ?!  My second gripe about this is if we assume for a moment that we can overlook the fact that Alesha is not a credible judge, what about her poor grasp of the English language? To hear comments like 'I fought you done really good' is like fingernails on a blackboard to me, and what sort of an example is it setting for the viewing public?    Sadly it's not just an isolated incident here and there.  Every time she opens her mouth to comment I can feel my toes curling in anticipation.  Unfortunately the arrival of Alesha Dixon has diminished the credibility of the show for me as they decided to forgo quality for the sake of a little garnish.

Moving on to my second subject this is also to do with the spoken word and, whilst widespread, seems particularly troublesome for anyone connected with football.  Tune in to MOTD and listen to pundits, commentators, managers and players all of whom appear to have the same affliction. Does 'they did fantastic' sound familiar ? Poor Fantastic, sounds painful !   They didn't 'do fantastic'.  Aaaarrrgggg ! Surely they did fantastically well.  I was shocked and dismayed to notice that it appears to have spread to The One Show, but then realised that the infection must have been carried from MOTD2 by Mr Adrian Chiles.  Are we already approaching  pandemic status ? Where will it all end, and is there any sign of a vaccine ?

I feel I must just state that I am not professing to be perfectly spoken, or write using perfect grammar but I do try.  I contend with a lack of sleep, lack of time and interference from Star to produce what I feel is an acceptable standard given my little exposure.  I do not have millions of people listening to me or reading my ramblings.  Those that do have an obligation to maintain the integrity of the English language.  Unless this happens I fear we will be unable to hold back the tide... and we will all be 'dumbed down'.

In the meantime, thank goodness for afternoon tea and cricket...



  1. Oh dear, once you start you can not stop!!! Pedant alert!

  2. i faught you done really good? You did fantastic? *shudder* What is happening to the english language?

  3. TMH - Pedant indeed. I feel a regular pedant rant post coming on...

    H - shudder indeed. I despair...

  4. Oh how pleased I am to find another person who feels this way. Friends think I'm a fussy old f**t but it does irritate me. The phrase of Alesha which annoys me most is, "You WAS brilliant!"....AAAGH

  5. Trish - yes I'm sure it's something I will come back to often. Last night she was particularly offensive I think...

  6. Oh no, that means I'm a grumpy old woman too! I saw Alesha Dixon and her school friends in a programme on missing dads on BBC3 last night. Her spoken English was awful, which was a shame because she cared abount her subject and wasn't a bad presenter otherwise. Listening to her made me cringe!

    I think that Strictly hiring Alesha was simply a cynical move to get a young and good looking judge a la Cheryl Cole on the X Factor.

    Yep, definitely a grumpy old woman and I've not
    even hit my 40th birthday yet!

  7. Trish - yes I'm sure it's something I will come back to often. Last night she was particularly offensive I think...