Sunday, 13 June 2010

Awww bless...

Awww, bless.

And for those of you who weren’t enjoying/ lamenting the above moment...this is where the England goalkeeper allowed the USA to equalise at the World Cup, Saturday June 12, 2010.

All of which is fun and allows us Scots a wee chuckle at the cost of our near-neighbours. Yes, I know we didn’t make it to the Big Party. Again. But our attitude is quite different. Our fans sing a song that goes “We’re shite, but we know we are.” Whereas in contrast the English media behave with jingoism, parochialism and an arrogance that makes you wonder why there aren’t more England strips burning on Scottish, Welsh and Irish barbecues.

Mmm –doesn’t that red cross and white background go nicely with lamb skewers?

I’m not going to list their transgressions but if you are sitting in a living room in Scotland, Wales or Ireland watching an English broadcast of ANY World Cup game, I’m guessing you’re watching with the volume turned down.

Which brings me, rather nicely I might add to an article that appeared in a bastion of Englishness (The Mail) the other day. In said article some poor journalist got his gusset all hot and scratchy over the demise of the Queen’s English.

It seems that American English is taking over and this form of cultural imperialism is one that everyone on this side of the Atlantic should be resisting. Get your mind into Chambers and your eyes off the telly is the basic message.

One also wonders (note the grammatical excellence, people – which I then ruin by using the popular Americanism of “people”) whether the timing of this article had anything to do with the impending football/ soccer game with England taking on the USA on the playing field. After all, the guardians of all things English might argue, this is our game and you even jolly well changed its name. Poppycock and piffle of the highest order.

I admit that I have a certain amount of sympathy (this is me holding my index finger and thumb slightly apart) with this message. There are certain corporate clichés that surely originated in a US boardroom which have taken over and – if I give good English a rest for a moment – get on my tits.

Utilise – this is surely an attempt to demonstrate that the speaker has an extensive vocabulary and proves the exact fecking opposite.

Going forward – whenever I hear this one I lose the speakers message and all I can think is, fuck off and die.

There’s also the one about flying an idea “up the flagpole”, presumably to see which way the prevailing wind (general opinion) affects the idea.

However as a fan of fiction and American crime fiction in particular I think these moaning myrtles are losing a trick here. Yes, English is an incredibly rich and expressive language but it is a growing one with new words being added to the lexicon on almost a daily basis. There’s always an upside (I bet they hate that one too).

Many authors writing in, dare I say it, American English display a vibrancy of use and brio that makes the journey of their novel a more stimulating and colourful experience. And now you’re gonna ask for an example. You think I’m that well prepared? This is a flow of consciousness job I’m working on here, people. Why don’t you go and look for yourself? Pick up any of the following and savour...

James Lee Burke, Don Winslow, George Pelecanos, Walter Mosely, Elmore Leonard, Michael Malone (the American one), Jim Thompson, James M Cain, etc etc etc.

Being an erudite and well-read bunch, you guys are bound to have your own ideas here. So who would you add to this list?


  1. Good points Michael but we should always stress than everyone involved with The Dail Mail is, in fact , a cunt.Dude.
    as for your list- Raymond Carver, Dave Zeltserman, Hilary Davidson...oh, too many.

  2. Go, US!! I planned on watching the World Cup more closely this year if the networks accomodate.

    Let's see Harlen Coben, Michael Connelly, James Hall and one of my favorites KYLE MILLS! He's not crime but international thriller but I couldn't pass up the chance to mention him.

  3. Paul - thanks for giving me my biggest laugh of the day (re your description of daily Mail employees). Thanks for the add-ons to the list. I've just finished Zeltserman's Killer - it was excellent!

    Go Marley. I haven't read Hall or Mills. Must add them to my list as well.

  4. Paul - perceptive comment on the Daily Mail.

    Michael - don't know if you've seen the animated lego reproduction of the Green incident. It's quite funny.

  5. Bill - I'm away for a look thanks.