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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. Alex Kingsley on March 20, 2018

    Get your hands off me is still the norm, I think.
    Regarding Orwell's rules, I agree strongly with rule 1, not so much rule 2 and 3. You should use long words and padding words if they enhance the rhythm and beauty of your sentences.

  2. Adrian Sroka on March 19, 2018

    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.

  3. Gordon Gange on March 18, 2018

    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.

  4. Lorraine Swoboda on March 17, 2018

    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.


  5. Paul Garside on March 15, 2018

    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


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