The Telegraph's Peter Mullen abandons all hope:
Abandon hope, Michael Gove, of restoring standards of ordinary literary competence in schools: for the shepherds are hirelings. There’s no hope – because a whole generation of teachers know no grammar. Moreover they are proud of not knowing it: for to betray any signs of linguistic competence would be “elitism,” wouldn’t it? And, I imagine, they think “syntax” has something to do with a surcharge on cigarettes.
They say, “I was sat” when they mean “I was sitting.” They say, “I was stood” when they intend – insofar as such thickos are capable of intending anything – “I was standing.”
They say, “I refute it” when they can mean only “I repudiate it”.
They say, “rise to a crescendo”, blissfully ignorant of the plain fact that the crescendo is not the pinnacle of sound but the approach to it.
They say such as, “walking along the river bank, the trees…” No, stupid, the trees were not walking along the riverbank. What you mean is “As I was walking along the riverbank, I noticed that the trees….”
They say “tragedy” when they mean “atrocity.” They say “gender” when they mean “sex”. (Is it possible, by the way, to have “gender” with someone?)
They say, “hearing impaired” when they mean “deaf” – as in “as hearing-impaired as a post.” (Compare “as partially sighted as a bat). They talk of “hate crimes” – as if there were such things as love crimes. They say “icon” when they mean “pornographic image.”
They say “racially aggravated murder” – as if that made the victim feel worse than if he were just being routinely murdered – as in a way that took all account of “diversity,” his “ethnic origin” etc. They say “loses out” when they mean “loses”.
They say “any time soon” for “soon” and “miss out on” for “miss”.
The sheer awfulness of all this is that when one goes to the trouble of pointing out such infelicities and desecrations, the reply comes back, “it’s only words.” And this from the very people whose profession is words.
(Oh dear, I hope I don’t sound too angry: but, if I do, it’s only because I am angry.)
I agree unanimously. It is of tantamount importance that people stop saying I was stood going forward.