Why I Am Not Keen On A “One-Size-Fits-All” You

There is one problem with the English Language.  It is a three letter word with a variety of uses – none of which can be thought of as conferring adequate respect to certain humans we meet.

“You” used to be the formal and respectful form of address with “Thou” being the informal form.  Yes – there were two different ways of saying “You” in the English language.

Now we seem to have sunk to the depths of “You” even being used as part of the English dictionary of insults – as well as the heights of respectful speech.

I have to admit to preferring the Dutch, German, and French differentiation between the formal and the informal.  If a Dutch person addresses me as “u” it is seen as the utmost respect, whilst “je” is The informal version.

Although – there is something that it takes me a few hours to get used to reading when I am in Holland.  What to English ears sounds like the most offensive term you can direct at someone is actually the politest way of a Dutch person telling someone they can do something.

I know I am going to make myself sounds absolutely ancient but – I honestly wish we could find a way of differentiating between the formal and informal in the English language.

I was brought up to address people as Mr and Mrs unless they told me to use their first name (I still cringe internally when people who are a lot older than me introduce themselves by their first name only – I don’t feel able to give them the correct level of respect).

Another thing I automatically do is address strangers as “Sir” or “Madam” – again attempting to be respectful.  Even though I remember one lady who I had addressed as “Madam” looking at me as though she expected me to physically attack her.

To me – being able to differentiate between my friends and people I don’t know is helpful when it comes to deciding how I should behave around them.  The English “one-size-fits-all” single word “You” just complicates things – and leaves little room for treating people with the respect they deserve.

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Sausage and Sweet Potato Shakshouka — Wish to Dish

A recipe for munching and brunching today… Shakshouka is a dish that has recently found fame on instagram – it is posted almost as frequently as the perennial avocado toast and you are unlikely to scroll down your feed on a Sunday (brunching day) without it popping up. The recipe originates from the middle east […]

via Sausage and Sweet Potato Shakshouka — Wish to Dish

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How Your Car Door Can Be A Useful Device For Me When You Are Parking Your Car

I am honestly starting to think there should be a separate section in both the Theory and Practical Driving Tests on the subject of parking cars.  People seem to dump – sorry park – their cars wherever they like, whether or not it is actually legal (a clue – unless you are in a wheelchair or a baby-carrying vehicle – keep your vehicle away from sunken kerbs).

Yes, I know that there are times when you might need to put two wheels on the kerb – if you are parking on a narrow road, etc.  However, draping nearly your entire undercarriage over the pavement is actually potentially deleterious to the lives of pedestrians like me.  The more of the undercarriage of your vehicle is draped over the pavement the higher the risk of me getting run over as I walk in the road to get around the obstacle you have created.

There comes a time when I cannot see (let alone judge the size of) any gap between the side of your vehicle and the wall, fence, hedge, etc, you are parked next to.  This is particularly difficult if your vehicle is black or white (both colours make the vehicles appear bigger than they actually are).

So – I have a request for you.  Next time you find yourself having to park with your wheels on the pavement please open the door nearest to the wall, fence, hedge, etc.  If you can open the door of your vehicle to its fullest extent (usually 90 degrees to the side of the car) this is a perfect gap for me to be able to see a way through.

Not everyone who uses the pavement to walk on has perfect eyesight – and those of us who have the least perfect eyesight would rather not walk in the road if possible.

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Chorizo Avocado Toast Recipe — S.A. the Writer

Lately I’ve been loving avocado toast. If you follow me on Instagram you already know this. It’s such a yummy breakfast for me and since I’m completely in love with avocado it satisfies my cravings for the creamy green fruit. I like to add something different to my avocado toast, I’m not a huge egg […]

via Chorizo Avocado Toast Recipe — S.A. the Writer

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Puppy and Kitten farms – a warning

Please be aware that unscrupulous fraudsters are selling pets via auction websites. Personally I recommend that you visit the breeder, see the animals first hand and check for yourself what you are supporting and buying into. Mail order pets are probably a bad thing.

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The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed a rise in the reporting of pets, and in particular puppies and kittens, being advertised for sale via popular online auction websites. The fraudsters will place an advert of the pet for sale, often claiming that the pet is currently held somewhere less accessible or overseas. Upon agreement of a sale, the suspect will usually request an advance payment by money transfer or bank transfer. However, the pet does not materialise and the fraudster will subsequently ask for further advanced payments for courier charges, shipping fees and additional transportation costs. Even if further payments are made, the pet will still not materialise as it is likely to not exist.
Tips to staying safe when purchasing pets:

  • Stay within auction guidelines.
  • Be cautious if the seller initially requests payment via one method, but later claims that due to ‘issues with their account’ they will need to take the payment via an alternative method such as a bank transfer.
  • Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller, for example a mobile phone number or email address used by the seller could alert you to any negative information associated with the number/email address online.
  • Request details of the courier company being used and consider researching it.
  • Agree a suitable time to meet face-to-face to agree the purchase and to collect the pet. If the seller is reluctant to meet then it could be an indication that the pet does not exist.
  • A genuine seller should be keen to ensure that the pet is going to a caring and loving new home. If the seller does not express any interest in you and the pet’s new home, be wary.
  • If you think the purchase price is too good to be true then it probably is, especially if the pet is advertised as a pure-breed.
  • Do not be afraid to request copies of the pet’s inoculation history, breed paperwork and certification prior to agreeing a sale. If the seller is reluctant or unable to provide this information it could be an indication that either the pet does not exist or the pet has been illegally bred e.g. it originates from a ‘puppy farm’. A ‘puppy farm’ is a commercial dog breeding enterprise where the sole aim is to maximise profit for the least investment. Commercial dog breeders must be registered with their local authority and undergo regular inspections to ensure that the puppies are bred responsibly and are in turn fit and healthy. Illegally farmed puppies will often be kept in inadequate conditions and are more likely to suffer from ailments and illnesses associated with irresponsible breeding.
  • When thinking of buying a pet, consider buying them in person from rescue centres or from reputable breeders.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting  www.actionfraud.police.ukor by calling 0300 123 2040.
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This is a disabled parking bay… — The long chain

This is a disabled parking bay. There are four of them at my son’s school. They are close to the school entrance and they are wider than normal bays. Doesn’t it look inviting? This is my son Benjamin’s blue badge. I had to apply for it, and pay for it. Many disabled people have to […]

via This is a disabled parking bay… — The long chain

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When Jargon Can Actually Become Life-threatening

We have all done it at one time or another – using job-related jargon when the other person has no connection with the “industry” we work in.  Or – even worse – when the other person’s only experience of the particular “industry” is as a first-time customer.

Worse still is when you happen to be in hospital and some of the Drs appear to be more fluent in “Hospital-ese” than the English language.  At no time is this more true than when you are being treated for a life-threatening condition or two.

I know what a hole in the heart is – after all I was born with one.  Apparently, in “Hospital-ese” this is known as an “ASD”!!! I only found this out after being told that I had informed a Dr that I had had an “ASD” when I was born.  (I remember using the words “hole in the heart”.)

(Apparently, we are now on the hunt for information as to what kind of “receptors” one of my conditions involves so I can get the correct treatment.  Yet another word which seems to mean something different in “Hospital-ese” than it does in the English language.)

As I said at the beginning of this blog post – we are all guilty of using job-related jargon at some time or other.  My last job was with a company who had a Patent for something called a DML – or a Dock(side) Mobile Loader.  This is a large Hopper on wheels which is used a bit like a Funnel with built-in Filters to transfer things like coal and grain from a ship to a lorry without covering the whole area in a layer of dust.  You can probably imagine the jargon I learned as I was typing orders and specifications for them.

Most of the time the jargon we use is merely confusing and irritating. However, we should really try to remember that there is a time and a place for it.  It would be absolutely ideal if we could do away with jargon altogether and use plain English.  This is especially true when the results could include damage to property or loss of life.

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