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Unexpected outcome from sharing a Carluccio's picnic

PUBLISHED: 12:32 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:18 07 September 2010

WHILE sharing the delights of a Carluccio s picnic hamper with the Ham&High s immensely talented subbing team, production editor Dave Crozier, usually the happiest man in the squad, had a right old moan about some of his pet hates. Dave ended up making a

WHILE sharing the delights of a Carluccio's picnic hamper with the Ham&High's immensely talented subbing team, production editor Dave Crozier, usually the happiest man in the squad, had a right old moan about some of his pet hates. Dave ended up making a lot of sense and since it's my birthday today, I invited him to write a column on the subject for our First of the Fourth slot in the Ham&High.. And here it is.

I RECEIVED a text from my wife not so long ago in which she boldly declared: I will be good at 9pm.

Although puzzled at first - had she been bad up until now? did this mean I was, as we used to say many years ago, 'on a promise' - I soon realised that the truth was rather more prosaic. She'd just been at the old predictive texting again.

As regular texters will know, you use the same buttons to text 'good' as you do for 'home', so all she was doing was telling me when she'd be back from her meeting and, thus, when to put the kettle on.

It takes a lot of getting used to, this texting lark. While kids barely out of nappies seem able to text each other willy nilly (or "willy milky" as my phone somewhat bizarrely insists it must be) we older folk can have a bit of trouble.

To start with, I absolutely refuse to use CU for 'see you', B4 for 'before' or any of the other ghastly contractions I receive from others in texts these days. No, no and thrice no. I know it's only done to make the text shorter (and thus cheaper) but frankly I'm not - and hope I never will be - so hard up that I can't afford an extra 5p to write properly.

That said, I do, I must confess, have a sneaking admiration for the person who texted 'gr9' to me, meaning 'better than gr8 (great)'. But when your messages need interpreting like a cryptic crossword clue, surely the whole point of communication has gone somewhat awry somewhere.

I mean where will it all end? Should golfers who hit an even more wayward shot than normal shout not 'fore!' but 'five!'?

And another thing, while we're on these stupid contractions. Who was it who decided that £10,000 can be written as £10K? I'll give you 10,000 metres as 10K since the K stands for kilometres. But since when has £1,000 been one kilopound? And since the word pound comes from Old English and kilo comes from Greek, it would be a stupid bastard-ised nonsense word anyway.

And while I'm at it, where does the phrase 'state of the art' come from? If an artwork has been slashed by an art critic, the state of the art is damaged. Otherwise it's just nonsense (although I did, I must confess, once use state of the art in a headline concerning Art Garfunkel).

Ah, yes, Dave, you old dinosaur, they say. But it's in common usage and therefore perfectly acceptable.

Well not in my world it isn't. And if you ever see the phrase in the Ham&High I've either let it in through gritted teeth or, more likely, I'm on holiday.

David Crozier

Production Editor, Ham&High


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