War of the words

Wow! All this fuss over ‘hear’ or ‘here’ (DW 23 February). As Mark Cox has badgered me for an opinion, I’d have to say that I agree with him. The ‘hear’ in ‘Is it chilli in hear’, is wrong. It spoils the playful pun on ‘chilly’ and does nothing to make ic

It’s good to know that he agrees with me, that ‘grammar can be loose, fresh and forward thinking’. Hurray, we’re making progress! But is this progress? The main reason copy lets design down and fails to communicate, position and persuade is not the occasional grammatical slip. It’s the fact that, having passed so many desks on its way to being approved, it ends up being excruciatingly dull.

Here’s a suggestion. Maybe ‘linguistic purists’ like Traci Rochester (DW 9 February) could apply some of their corrective zeal to stopping this bland stuff. Let’s pick up on the boring sentence, the obvious word, the lumpen phrase. We could even have an occasional column in DW to shame the worst offenders – as Private Eye’s Pseud’s Corner has skewered pretension.

Barnaby Benson, London, SW2

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