Thursday, 24 March 2011

Sat at my computer

I am a pedant where English usage is concerned. I don't mind new words, or different uses of old words - language moves on - but grammar is a different matter.

Has anyone else noticed that people no longer say that they are "sitting", but that they are "sat"? "He was sat at his desk writing a letter". This literally means that someone picked him up and sat him there, with or without his permission. It does not mean he sat down unaided. But I'm afraid that this particular usage has come to stay.

And then there's pronounciation. There are certain words that no-one, even (or should I say especially) the BBC, can get right. The one that really gets to me is "vulnerable. It is invariably pronounced "vunerable"; that is, without the first letter L.

(This is a rather grumpy post for a lovely day. It's probably because wonderful Devizes market does not seem to supply wall planners.)


  1. You've got me saying 'vulnerable' out loud so I can check my pronounciation. I sound OK even if I do look a bit mad to the people around me.

  2. I never say 'buried' correctly according to Hubby. Or 'almond'.

  3. I am always hauling authors over the coals for using 'sat' instead of 'sitting' or 'seated'. There seems to be a sudden craze for it. Is it American usage, does anyone know? I really hate it!

  4. Sorry, Patsy!

    Aliya, John (originally a Yorkshireman) pronounces "buried" to rhyme with "hurried". How do you pronounce it?

    Hydra, your reply was music to my - well, not ears, exactly, but you know what I mean! But I have a feeling that "sat" is here to stay :(

  5. Thank you Frances for your encouragment.
    Having seen this piece, I thought I should just make my excuses now for my grammar.....I think its pretty hit and miss, and intuitive at best.
    I can only say I cannot let that stop me from writing anymore, so I just get on with it and hope I do not offend anyone too much.

  6. Welcome, Cranky Crone! And thanks for your comments.

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