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This may sound like a flippant question but it isn't

Hello all, this may sound silly but these days everyone (especially tv adds) say "for free" The reason I ask is, have I had it wrong all my life that if something is free, then we say "this is free" and not this is for free. Otherwise we we would need a bag of "frees" Or did my parents and teachers guide me incorrectly. The other question is, do I now have to write: "Get your hands off of me" or can I still write "get your hands off me"?
I ask because I think I know but am no longer sure. If I am writing then I need to get as much correct as I can. There are more things like this but it would become a list and I think these are the two main ones that bug me.
Or is it just Americanisms? and if this is the case do I have to learn the way they use English.
I hope that makes sense to anyone who reads this post.
Thanks in advance. Regards Paul G

Asked by: Paul Garside

  1. Adrian Sroka 9 hours ago

    Hi, Paul.

    I hope Orwell's rules for writing are of help to you.

    George Orwell’s 6 rules for writing

    1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

    2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

    3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

    4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

    5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

    6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.

    I hope that helps.

    Good luck.

  2. Gordon Gange 1 day ago

    Couldn't agree more. I hate the dreaded 'grocer's apostrophe'. I don't know about you, but one of my pet hates is that we're losing nouns and verbs. We have horrible phrases like 'there's a disconnect' and one I heard three times in one interview: 'We're thinking of relocationing.'
    Having said that, I'm writing a novel, and I started by choosing how each character would talk. I wrote lists of words and expressions that each might uniquely use.' You could have some fun doing that. But unless I want to characterise someone, I absolutely refuse to use 'like' as an adverb. I still can't stand people saying 'it looks like it's going to rain.' (I suppose I should have (or should it be should of?) put Eats Shoots and Leaves as my favourite book--well it is one of them.

  3. Lorraine Swoboda 2 days ago

    Americanisms creep in, but you don't have to use them, Paul. Be true to your own language! You are English, writing English - stick to that.
    You can get something free, as in free of charge. It's a corruption of sorts to say it's for free; comparing it's for free with it's for 5p - it implies there's a charge of 0p. It's nonsense; you can't get something of free because free isn't a charge - it's a neutrality, on the grounds it's neither a cost nor a negative cost.
    Get your hands off me, not off of me: the 'of' is redundant.


  4. Paul Garside 4 days ago

    Thank God and thank you all that is not just li'l ole me, oops was that an Americanism. So sorry, I am just weak willed I suppose.
    But seriously, I did not want to have to rethink everything I am typing to make sure it fits in with "a trend".
    I will carry on as (has as been said) the way I were learnt!
    Sorry I can't help rubbish jokes.
    Again thank you all for taking the time to confirm my own thoughts. I know that I often need certain things affirming, just in case.
    Kind regards as always, Paul

  5. Denise Thomson 5 days ago

    Hi Paul, I’m a new member of this website, and can already see from questions like yours, that it’s likely to be my go-to place in future to seek answers to my queries! I echo the comments made by Jonathan above. I find the Americanisms sneaking into our everyday language infuriating, the most annoying one that keeps cropping up is an answer to the question, “Have you got everything you need in your bag?” - please tell me I am correct in thinking the answer IS NOT “Yes I do”, and should be “Yes I have”?

    I also hate hearing “I’d like two of them ones” when it should be “I’d like two of those ones”, and “I done it” instead of “I did it” or “I’ve done it” .

    I suppose in realistic dialogue these quotes will occur as sadly they seem to be part of every day speech now, just as “like” has crept into many youngsters speech, almost every couple of words.


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