Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Parenting and language stuff.

Far be it from me to delight in a father and his child falling out. However, when I heard that Jean-Marie Le Pen had been criticised by his daughter for making disparaging comments on the Front National website about a singer of Jewish origin, I’m afraid I could not help but be a little pleased. Daughter Marine Le Pen has worked hard and quite successfully, unfortunately, to make their party seem more acceptable, less horribly xenophobic, giving right wing extremism a softer, gentler face. And along comes Dad and puts stuff out there that makes them seem as nasty as ever. So she said he had made a political gaffe and ordered the video to be removed from the website. (I wonder if she managed it fast enough to prevent others putting it out into the wider electronic media world on you tube and the like.) It’s really quite pleasing when they start to fight among themselves. Long may it continue! 

Maybe Monsieur Le Pen was never a truly hands-on dad, as the terminology of today has it, and therefore Marine feels she has the right to boss him around. He was perhaps too busy being a right wing extremist to take much notice of her. He did manage to inculcate her with his views though, also unfortunately! 

Apparently more and more modern fathers are being hands-on dads these days. I was reading about it in an article by someone complaining that stay-at-home dads get lots of praise while stay-at-home mums are often criticised for being self-indulgent or derided for being silly enough to give up career opportunities. You can’t win, you see! Stay-at-home dads, on the other hand, are viewed as noble creatures, worthy of praise. At one point the writer stated, “Despite the uptick in fathers’ involvement in parenting, women still do the vast majority of domestic work, from housework to child care.” I couldn’t argue with the content of the article: all good stuff, absolutely spot-on. 

However, and it’s quite an important however in my opinion, I do have to object to her use of language. “Despite the uptick in fathers’ involvement in parenting,” she writes. “The uptick”??? Where did that expression come from? Wherever it came from it should be sent back there at once. It’s really not proper English. Phil and I spend a small amount of time getting cross about stuff like this. One of his bugbears is the use of “going forward” instead of “in the future”! We don’t spend a lot of time stressing about this. It’s just a minor irritation and we recognise that there really is little we can do about it but there it is. 

While we’re on the subject of words, here’s another odd one: adorkable. It is a blend of “adorable” and “dork” and means “socially inept or unfashionable in a charming or endearing way”. Originating from Twitter, it has made its way into the next edition of the Collins English Dictionary. The compilers of the dictionary say that the word “has settled into a steady and rising pattern of use, establishing adorkable as a popular word in general use which is here to stay”. 

And to think I had never heard of it before!!

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