I read an article a couple of days ago, which I skimmed through and all but ignored.
But it subconsciously set me on a train of thought.
The article itself was about the Americanisation [and I refrain from spelling that Americanization!] of the English language.
Long time readers will know my contention that Americans can’t spell. They insist on using such words as “neighbor”, “color” and “theater” as a tiny example of their illiteracy, not to mention that abominable “ize” instead of “ise” [and Z is pronounced Zed, not Zee!]. As a result of my contention, I have to pay extra attention to my own spelling as my American friends are only too happy to see me inadvertently using part of their vocabulary. I have set this site to spell properly, along with my laptop, my browser and my email programme. Unfortunately this leads to problems when doing a little coding as languages insist on using such keywords as “color” and “center”. Bastards.
Unfortunately, despite my best efforts I do find some American expressions entering into my daily use. I categorically refuse to use “movie” as a substitute for film or cinema but I do find myself using one expression which grates on my nerves each and every time I use it. I refer to the greeting “Hi”.
I was brought up to start any written communication with “Dear … “, be it Dear Sir, Dear John or whatever. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to lend itself to the instant medium of the email. In fact there are only two or three people that now receive mails from me addressed in the formal “Dear” and one of those is a bishop [which explains nothing, but his mails always address me as Dear…].
Equally, I was taught that if I started a letter with “Dear Sir”, then I must use “Yours faithfully” when signing off, or “Yours sincerely” if I had used a person’s name in the greeting.
But sadly, as any recipient of any of my mails will testify, I now start all communications with Hi. Sometimes, if the mood is right, I’ll even grace the top of a mail with Hiya. I hate myself every time I do it.
I suppose I’m just trying to maintain a standard in a world that no longer has standards.