Firstly, I want to just say 'hello' to everybody who uses this site. I am new here, and this is my first post.
That said, on to my main point. I am a british citizen who has been living in Switzerland for 8 years. Recently I signed up to receive BBC 1 and 2 by cable TV. It's very interesting to get feedback of what's going on in the UK today. The changes that have undergone since I left have been curious to observe. Language changes are one of them. One change, or more precisely, error, that I have noticed, however, has really started getting to me. It's the use of the word "there's" when "there're" would be correct. For example, "There's dance classes available at stage school." (I heard that this morning on Breakfast TV), rather than "There're dance classes available at stage school." - 'Dance classes' is plural. There ARE dance classes, not there IS dance classes. Another example would be, "there's a lot of soldiers in Iraq". It makes me cringe.
The preponderance of this error seems to be very widespread, I even hear journalists and presenters making this mistake regularly. I find that particularly disturbing. The BBC used to be renowned for it's high standard of English usage...it's going down the drain.
Now maybe I sound like an 83 year old who moans about everything, but I assure you all, I'm 35, and I don't. Maybe I have become hyper-sensitive to English since moving away from Blighty - particularly since the standard of english used by swiss students here can be better than that of people who I see writing on the internet from the UK.
I spoke to my mother (who is swiss, but lives in England) about this, and she said it annoys her too, however, when she mentioned the topic to her (english) friends, they said they weren't aware that they or other people were even saying something incorrectly.
Does anyone else notice this error, and are you troubled by such widespread errors made by mother-tongue english speakers?
Ot are there other errors that people make on a frequent basis that gets under your skin?
Sorry for the moan, but I just had to let it off somewhere, and I thought that here would be a place where I would be talking to people who might be equally concerned about these issues.
Cheerio for now, David.
- For Teachers