Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

This Speaks My Language

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

This Speaks My Language

Article excerpt

Mention the Prescott and he will surely appear. Last week John Two Banquets found the need to demonstrate his command of English by waving an Agincourt at some of my colleagues in the Fourth Estate.

The same day Mr Justice Lewison, a man given to wearing wigs, ruled that rap lyrics were a foreign language. Quite.

As a result of m'lud's wise and sage judgment it is not possible to copyright the phrase 'fo' shizzle my nizzle*' or indeed 'fo' shizzle my sizzle**' because these form part of a language.

And there, you see, is an example of the pitfalls of our mother tongue. Wise and sage mean the same thing, so that's tautology. The opposite is an oxymoron where two words cannot possibly go together, like pleasant pain, terribly good or gentleman Prescott.

Then there's spelling. Summary offences, his Wigship will tell you, are dealt with by lower courts, whereas summery offences are committed between May and September.

Mr Justice Lewison, according to his clerk, is a thoroughly modern judge and because he has two teenagers understands exactly what a nizzle is. As do I but it's a word absolutely barred from newspaper usage.

He apparently understands Mozart. Which I don't, but I do know Beethoven was a dog in an American film. I am getting down and dirty, though, when it comes to the happenin' sounds.

I know Hip Hop, Blip Hop and Drip Hop are not exclusive to hospital radio. Hardcore is dance that can be used as bass for Garage but not to make a base for a garage and Turbo Folk is not an environmentally friendly Saab.

Andrew Alcee, of the Ant'ill Mob, says the words complained of in a remix of his seminal track Burnin' contained references that damaged his reputation. Mr Alcee, or yo' bizzle*** Andrew as he might be known, is a Garage artist and garages are certainly places for some odd English usage.

Take the word bargain. There are several cars that are described as bargains. They are not, they are cheap which is different. Quite a few are not only cheap but also nasty and some are so nasty that if you buy one you'll need penicillin to get rid of it.

Buying a cheap car won't make you rich. The Daewoo Leganza does not cost a lot but over three years you'll lose 76% on the deal, which, bearing in mind you have already paid around pounds 15,000, is as upsetting as your dog dying. …

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