Ask Ella – Language Improvement

By Tinderella

Our socially conservative Agony Aunt is here to help.

Here we have a question from a victim of our education system, which I received via something called a ‘WhatsApp’.

Wassup Ella
tho i dont get sum ov dem big wurdz u use i ope u can elp me. da probs iz ive met dis hot chik at uni who tawks posh an i wanna impres her by parlayin in da kinda lingo dat she speeks. Mi meedja studiz tutor sez mi esseys an coarswurk r orl gud an i wil defo get a job at da gardiyan or da bbc, but im tinkin dat to pull dis gurl i gotta get bettr wit da vocabs. Wot shud i du?

Dear Fabian,
Good grief. What has the world come to? Where are the standards? Where is the grammar? The common courtesy? I despair, really I do. However, I shall take a deep breath and try to remain positive in the face of adversity. I won’t suggest remedial classes in English, as modern leftist teaching of same is largely to blame for your illiteracy. Reading some proper literature might help you. I suggest you start with ‘Travels With My Aunt’ by Graham Greene. The beautifully constructed sentences and poetic allusions may seep into your subconscious and emerge in your own communications. I do hope that this might be the beginning of a long and rewarding journey for you in discovering the wonderful world of words.

You may find it difficult to transition all at once from slang and text-speak to sophisticated prose, so I include here a poem to act as a ‘halfway house’ for you, in that it contains some acronyms you may be familiar with. I composed it while suffering the after-effects of one of my many doomed romances. It is a torrid tale of internet dating gone wrong, the illusion of good love since turned bad. How ironic it is that your Agony Aunt could use some advice herself in matters of the heart. I’ve worked the poem into a song; the anguish and misery of the lyrics are accompanied by an uplifting tune, which I feel produces a rather elegant juxtaposition.

Oh dear, I fear I have gone too far with using language you won’t understand Fabian, given the society you are a product of. It must be upsetting for you when words are beyond your comprehension. You do feel upset lovey, don’t you? I tell you what my darling; make a start with the poem, move on to the Graham Greene when you feel up to it and let me know how you get on. Would you do that for me my lovey, would you, would you?

Laughing Out Loud

YCMU you crack me up, I think that I’ve been sold a pup
My OLL my online love is not an angel from above
SOMY sick of me yet? YSYB yeah sure you bet
IFYP I feel your pain, YFMB you fried my brain
I’m LOL laughing out loud, you’ll always spot me in a crowd
But TBF and to be fair, people do sometimes stop and stare

GOMB get off my back, you always tell me what I lack
Don’t ETE see eye to eye QTPI my cutie pie
GIAR give it a rest, I tried to please you, did my best
DITY was what I pressed, did I tell you that I’m distressed?
I’m LOL laughing out loud, you’ll always spot me in a crowd
But TBF and to be fair, we really were a funny pair

SETE smiled ear to ear, IOOH I’m out of here
CRBT cried real big tears, I’ve really got to go my dear
So GTR I’ve got to run, c’est au revoir, we’re over, done
TTFN ta ta for now, arrivederci, baci, ciao
I’m LOL laughing out loud, you’ll always spot me in a crowd
But TBF and to be fair, I sometimes miss our love affair

Yours wistfully,

I’ve received a most satisfying reply from Fabian. It just goes to show what reading some quality literature can do for one’s vocabulary. He writes:

Dear Ella,
Thanks to your wise counsel I have seen the light, or vidi lucem, as the Romans used to say. I read your heart-rending poem and then devoured ‘Travels With My Aunt’, in which I found much wisdom about the human condition. I’m now moving on to ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. As you can see, there’s no stopping me.
Yours eloquently,

The pleasure is all mine Fabian, your prose is a delight.

Legal disclaimer: Ella is a complete disaster socially and takes absolutely no responsibility whatsoever for any mishaps that may occur from following her advice.

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