Sunday, May 01, 2005

In the news this week

The reputation of British footballer David Beckham sank to a new low when it was reported (by a former nanny, who had previously signed a confidentiality agreement not to reveal details of her employers' private lives, but who nonetheless sold for £300,000 what she claimed to have seen on a cellphone they lent to her) that he had sent a text message to a woman who was not his wife that included the words "I really wish we was in your bed now."

What was he thinking? Is nothing sacred? What is so hard about "I really wish we were in your bed now"?

Has someone in the Beckham family at some point sat down to simplify the language, like Noah Webster, and decided that the whole "was"/"were" thing is just too complicated, and to hell with subjunctives while we're at it? They would probably go on to argue that this not only represents a welcome rationalization, but also saves a letter in text messages. My heart goes out to poor Victoria.

1 comment:

R.G.B. said...

This reader really resonates with the attitude of the phantom nitpicker. The small stuff seems to puzzle and needle me the most.

For instance, the whole western world has shown its ignorance and incompetence in the variable pronunciation of "Abu Ghraib". I really don't care how it is pronounced over there, though if we settled on whatever that is, it would be a help, but some English speaker years ago, in an Arab land, spelled this word as "ghraib" for a reason. Phonetically it is "grah-eeb" not greb, not graib, not greab. Out of the hundreds of supposedly bright and educated journalists, nobody can get it right, or at least be consistent. We still hear it every distorted way each painful day it has to be re-discussed in the overkill news.

Do I qualify as a nitpicker?