I learned a new word today. It's a word I love because it describes the thing I hate most in the world! Hypercorrection. It is defined thus:
"A speaker or writer who produces a hypercorrection generally believes that the form is correct through misunderstanding of these rules, often combined with a desire to appear formal or educated."
In my view hypercorrection is most ghastly when used in relation to pronouns. I noticed recently someone writing on Facebook about the death of their mother: "myself and my brother were there when she died..." Grief is no excuse for bad grammar. Another friend, a writer who should know better, writes, "this is a photo of my sister and I on holiday..." I don't actually mind old-fashioned honest bad grammar. "Me and my sister on holiday" wouldn't have bothered me in the slightest. It's simply the notion of someone trying to seem fancy whilst getting it wrong which makes me wince. It's like someone from Essex over-pronouncing their t's and s's when they answer the phone.
Speaking of Essex, we went to Thaxted with Brother Edward and Sascha this afternoon. It's been a glorious day. The sun hasn't stopped shining and the air was permanently warm. The parents' garden looks glorious, filled with red tulips and purple Jacob's Ladder. My mother is horrified because their little shed-cum-barn has recently been re-roofed with very shiny corrugated metal, which has taken on something of a solar panel vibe. Apparently they can't have it repainted or recoated for a year, so we enjoyed winding them up, telling them to remove all plastic objects from the widows of their house in case the sun caught the roof and melted everything in the near vicinity!
We had a very pleasant lunch in a pub out at Great Easton where the male staff were all incredibly tall and stupidly handsome in a "you're-young-enough-to-be-my-son/grandson" way. My Dad made us all laugh by not being able to explain how he'd managed to inadvertently tip the waiting staff whilst paying for the food. It was only when Nathan and Sascha started to do some digging that we realised he'd tipped the same amount as his PIN number! Thank God his PIN doesn't start with the number 9, else he could have tipped over ninety quid!
We went for a walk across the fields behind Thaxted after lunch. The rape crops have started glowing that rather sickly yellow colour, which, against the lime green, Spring-like grass, and bright blue sky is all a bit vibrant for my taste!
As we walked along, my brother told us about a very unfortunate occurrence at a recent public speaking event he'd attended where one poor, somewhat foolish bloke had managed to smash a glass on his forehead. Blood apparently went everywhere. Just as he was telling the story, my Dad managed to walk into a rogue tree branch and cut his ear open! He was fine, but my brother, who is very squeamish when it comes to blood, ended up with it all over his fingers.
My mother made us all chortle when she revealed that two of her neighbours are called Sue Parker. They live two doors apart. How often do you think the mail goes to the wrong one? How would they know? Imagine being the person who lives in the middle?
We went back to Till Towers and sat in the garden until the heat left the sun, when we retired to watch the Antiques Roadshow with a plate of what my Mum would probably call an "improvised cold collation" on our laps. Something came up in conversation which triggered her to fetch a file filled with the order of services from the shed load of funerals she's attended in the last five or so years. It must be so so hideous to reach the point where death starts to become so horribly commonplace. When is that point? Am I close to it?