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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Match of The Day - where the English language goes to die

David Moyes has just been interviewed on MOTD. He's an intelligent, articulate man. In answer to a question about a chance Everton could have taken he replied, clear as a bell, "Yes. We could of." Is this a solecism or a barbarism? Either way it's increasingly the expression that people use. Does it not occur to them that of the two words they're using one is completely the wrong one?

The other one that puzzles me in football is "stonewall penalty". This has only appeared in the last few years. It must have started off as a "stone" penalty. "Stone" is the hipster adjective that denotes "utterly" and "unarguably", as in "stone fox" or "stone free". Once it was adopted even the linguistic vandals who comment on football couldn't work out what it meant and therefore it slowly morphed into "stonewall penalty" because at least that sounded like a football term.