The English Pedant. Five American expressions we don’t need

This blog is certainly not anti-American, but we don’t like what they have done with our language. The US has taken over English to the extent that even British people are using expressions from over there instead of our own versions. Just as the American grey squirrel has squeezed the red squirrel out of its own territory, so Americanisms have invaded the speech of the very country that gave it to them in the first place.

Maybe they should adopt Spanish after all – serve you right, amigos.

Here are just five of the subtle insurgents.

  1. Taking a rain check. It means that because it is raining, you are getting a ticket to watch the match when it is replayed, or another match instead. So it can be applied to any situation where you’re going to cancel or can’t do it when suggested. Check=ticket (in this instance).
    Why we don’t need it: because no one understands it, but they use it wrongly anyway. And we managed perfectly well without it for centuries.
  2. Throw someone a curve ball. Do something they didn’t expect. A baseball term meaning the ball doesn’t go straight, but swerves.
    Why we don’t need it: because we have cricket, in which a bowler can make the ball swerve (or ‘swing’) to the left or right. And when footballers do it, it’s called ‘bending’, as in Bend it like Beckham.
  3. It came out of left field. Similar to 2; it means something happened unexpectedly.
    Why we don’t need it. Because we don’t know what left field means and why something that comes from there should be so difficult to deal with.
  4. It’s a crock. Abbreviation of a crock of shit, meaning something is untrue, rubbish, worthless etc. Crock means an earthenware cooking pot.
    Why we don’t need it: we already have the expression ‘a load of crap’.
  5. I could care less.
    Why we don’t need it:
    because it means I couldn’t care less. So it doesn’t make sense.


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