As the late Denis Farina said so memorably in the movie Snatch, “You Brits invented English;  why don’t you fucking speak it?”

“I am stood watching as a man uses a metal lever to break into a wooden door.”

I am stood?  Really?  As opposed to “I’m standing watching as a man…” (and standing is also superfluous unless it’s relevant to the story — “I’m watching as a man…” would have worked just as well, if not better).

Don’t even get me started on “I was sat looking at the painting…”

In grammatical terms, it’s incorrectly using the past perfect tense (stood, as in “He stood on the roof”) instead of a participle (e.g. he was standing on the roof).

I suppose it’s all part of the general societal slide down to illiteracy, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get angry about it.


  1. two points

    a) it is the Daily Mail – what do you expect?

    b) Private Eye runs a column highlighting articles like this called “Bonfire of the Subs”, as newspapers cut back on sub-editors to save money. It’s prevalent across the board. PE will give you a small modicum for every one they print – £5 maybe.

    Two other, more pedantic, points

    a) the film is Snatch

    b) the copy looks okay to me “I am standing watching as a man uses a metal lever”


  2. Correction:
    “So, like I was standing watching this guy with a big peace of metal, like, you know, trying to pri open this door….”
    HT: fucking dumbass millennials and the fucking commie NEA that let them slide by.

  3. “Whilst all this sounds quite terrifying…”
    (clutches pearlsts whilst swooning amongst and amidst unbeknownst looming terrors)

    And I thought only me and Remus are dinosaury antiques.
    Kim Du Toit, welcome to TheWordClubForNon-Idjits.
    We occasionally offerst group discounts for non-moroons, non-half-wits, and other non-nincompoops.
    Watchst for the coupons in your mail!

    But we charge extra for the government agents becausest of all the extra supervision they requirest.
    I thinkst that’s fair.

  4. On topic: Kim, two posts down in “Envious”. The word “which” seems to be a spel czech artifact, where you obviously intended the word “wish”.

    That said, when the world spins into a tizzy, THIS is one of the damn few sites on the ‘net I can come to for a daily dose of “things as they ought to be”.

    There is a world of difference between a literate person posting the occasional typo or such, and the ignorant blather which passes as “journalism” in the wider world.

    The pity of it is, we all are aware of our weaknesses, failings and limitations. Yet, the libtards who write on the left are convinced of their wisdom, infallibility and self-considered “deservedness” to reign over the likes of us, with and in spite of their ill written diatribes, directives and decrees.

    A pox on all of them, and their houses.

    Keep on typin’ on, sir. An occasional typo ain’t gonna break the bank.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  5. As a U.S. citizen brought up in Canada, this is similar to the excessive verbiage found in many Brit news reports. Consider “John Smith is to be tried on charges of murder” instead of “John Smith will be tried for murder.” Is To Be (and its variants). Gaah. Along with refusing to use the % symbol (50pc rather than 50%). It makes my teeth itch. And I won’t even get into the whole superflous U in colour, etc, nor the lack of a proper Z in criticise. All of these take me right out of a story.

    On the other hand, I do prefer their spelling of grey, rather than gray, and the less-wordy “He was in hospital” over “He was in THE hospital.”

    Another current stylistic fad that drives me mad is the poor use of typefaces. For whatever dumb reason, millenials prefer sans-serif typefaces for printed body text. On the web I suppose it makes sense but in print, I can’t take any publication seriously that doesn’t use a serif font (Times, Sabon, Univers, etc) for body copy.

  6. I’m fairly certain that the BBC started its Pidgin section so that they could gradually merge it with the (purportedly) English side.

  7. When you’re this careless with your own language, it sort of follows that you’ll attempt to ban pointy kitchen knives.
    A Great Nation falls, and everyone just nods and says “They done it to themselves.”

  8. Actually that is proper English if you consider it as spoken in Chaucer’s day. In fact it is quite comprehensible compared to said period.

    I get as wound up as Kim over the adulteration of the language through misspelling as taught by the Californicated school of “sounds like” English, but kind of enjoy the British penchant for being economical with words and applying cockney rules to print. Lets face it, 90% 98% of British news consumers read tabloids as opposed to “The Times” and Rupert still needs to earn his living.

  9. ‘I am stood’ is perfectly grammatically correct if you are made to stand there by someone else.

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