U Is For Upside The Head

I love words and the different ways that they are used, and I really do enjoy exploring this, especially having lived in New Zealand for a year and the USA for 15 years, as well as my native England, to where I returned two years ago.

As well as loving some words however, there are some that just make me see RED, and a prime example of this is UPSIDE THE HEAD!

Now what exactly does that mean?

I know what it’s supposed to mean, and I know what the words mean on their own, but to hit someone upside the head!  Why not say slap them on the face, or slap their head, which is at least correct grammar.

Why not hit someone on the side of the head?  The word upside is usually used with the word down.  It shouldn’t be the opposite of the word downside, at least when it’s referring to hitting someone on the upper part of their head at least.

It’s just one American expression that really goes get my goat, one of quite a few actually, and before you start on me, YES I know in England we also have a lot of odd phrases… you are not alone ok!

Some odd American words get to me as well, the unreal words that ought to not exist, but for which it’s hard to think of an alternative, without sprouting a whole sentence at least.

A classic example of this is the word WINNINGEST as in They are the winningest team, or he is the winningest coach.

That word is so wrong it’s not true, but I can’t think of an alternative way of saying “he is the winningest coach” other than “he is the coach whose team has won more games than any other”.  Phew what a mouthful! 

Another classic phrase that my boss used to use when I worked in Indiana is “don’t got to”.  That used to make me want to vent a whole power plant worth of steam I can tell you.  

Now if he had said “haven’t got to” that would be fine, but the misuse of the English language is something that well, you know how I feel…

I’m not sure if it’s because when I was growing up in England all the television and radio presenters used to speak “BBC English”, rather like The Queen.  This is PROPER ENGLISH both in pronounciation as well as accent and of course grammar, and sadly in many ways it has now disappeared in the UK.

In fact in the 80’s and 90’s you would think that it was mandatory to either speak in a horribly common accent or to have a speech impediment in order to secure a job in television or on the radio.

But there you have it, one of My Pet Peeves that really irritates me, but at the same time a topic that I do find really amusing.

Do you enjoy language and the different ways that people say things?  If so, please drop me a comment.

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