A bout of chuntering with Milla has led me to realise how unforgiving I am of those who incur my grammatical, stylistical and vocabularical wrath (and yes, vocabularical is a word. A word I made up. Shush, I’m ranting)
There are a couple of things which really really really annoy me.
It’s not a toilet. It’s a loo. The origins of “loo” are unknown but there are a number of wonderful theories… all which are much better than toilet (which seems to be an Americanism). Lavatory (from the Latin lavātōrium) is of course, even better.
Unless you live in an airport, you do not have a lounge in your house. You have a sitting room (which is normally slightly more informal) or possibly a drawing room. Not used for drawing, but rather withdrawing.
Sofa. Sofa. Sofa. Couch? Brings up visions of Land of Leather. Ditto settee
It may sound French. It may be French. It’s still horrible. You probably get serviettes in a McDonalds. If you’re at my house, you get napkins.
Another Americanism (and hey, this isn’t a beat-the-Americans-over-the-head-with-a-stick post it’s just I don’t like certain ways they do things… politics amongst others). It’s a dinner jacket. You wear it when having dinner. Which neatly leads me onto…
I’ve never understood this one. In my house it was always… Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Supper. Breakfast is pretty self-explanatory. Lunch, meal in the middle of the day. Tea, either a cup of tea or a small snack when home from school (at around 4/5 ish). Supper, meal at the end of the day, around 8/9 o’clock. Some people have Breakfast, Dinner and then Tea. How does that work?
Hello, pleased/nice to meet you/how’s it going:
Even I have to admit, I’m a bit slack with this one… it depends to whom I am talking. Interviewers, friends of parents, N’s parents/friends, certain people I went to uni/school with? “Hello. How d’you do?”. Random person I’m being introduced to in the pub? “Hi, how’s it going?”
Setting the table:
Fork on the left. Knife on the right (blade facing in please). Finished eating? Knife and fork together in the middle of the plate (blade again, facing in).
Fork in left hand, knife in right. Elbows off table (unless you’ve finished). Finishing your mouthful before talking. Wait until everyone’s got food before starting. Napkins on lap, not tucked in anywhere else. If you’re a child, ask to leave the table, don’t just assume you can. If you’re an adult and you need to go somewhere, excuse yourself. If you’re a guest, always offer to help clear away. Don’t stack the plates. Certainly don’t scape the plates at the table. Take them out to the kitchen 2 (or 3 if you can manage it) at a time.
Snobbish? Maybe. Sue me.
EDIT 200308: Thank you peach – a typo meant I’d completely undone all my ranting previously. Knife is now firmly placed in the right hand. Phew.