OPINION

Whatevs bro, people can't help their names-uh!

If you are an English perfectionist, look away. This will be your nightmare.

It's my nightmare. Every day.

I remember well the plummy ABC radio and television accents of the 1970s.

I also remember my smart-alecky teenaged-mouth matching my rolling eyes to ask if that was still the ABC news music.

If it isn't broken, it does not need fixing, my grandfather, coincidentally a former chief of staff at ABC radio and television, told me. In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The problem is, my Grandad, that something is now broke. And it's the English language.

The infiltration of old names with new spellings came first. The more vowels the merrier.

I come from a decade of Traceys and Tonyas, Kims and Sandras. There were the more adventurous choices - a sprinkling of Tiffanys or Mercedes, the odd Crystal or Amber.

Alright, so it wasn't Nirvana, but it felt kind of safe. There were not 57 different spellings of Michaela, boys weren't named Myson and girls were not called Abcde. Even Tiffany did not have three "e"s.

Now the generation with an "h" on the end of names that aren't Hannah or Noah are becoming adults. Their "unique" names are showing up on real estate signs and the sides of trucks, and it can be hard to have your tax done by someone whose mother thought Sharleeze was a sensible choice.

To my probably blinkered way of thinking, these names do not pass the street test - they do not sound good when you are yelling them down the street at a child who has not come home, they would not look good above a law firm, and they are not fitting for residents of a retirement village.

But whatevs bro, people can't help their names.

It's their English innovations on social media that is more galling. "Yous dont know wot I bin through," one laments. "Don't stress gorge we got ya back," come the words of encouragement.

Illiteracy has become its own language, fuelled by the need to get the words out as quickly and publicly as possible.

We all have the right to an opinion, and the right to say it loudly, but not very clearly.

Add to this the stunned silences of radio news readers as they come across a name they don't know how to pronounce but have a stab at anyway.

And, in another string to my old person's language bow, I have discovered the secret language of teenagers. It's quite simple, you just add an offended "-uh" here and there to each sentence.

"Yes-uh! I have done my homework-uh! I already told you-uh!"

Apparently it doesn't work for me, when I respond "okay-uh". I just get the death stare and an Olympic-sized sigh.

Anyways, the Olympic sigher and I were recently watching a morning breakfast show when an entertainment reporter told us about a band we might not have heard of called Justice Crew who had a hit with a song called "Cue Serra".

I ran out of the room screaming.

There was a brief silence before a voice came floating out from in front of the television.

"Irmagosh, Mum-uh! Calm-uh down-uh. Sirriously, it's not that bad-uh!"

If anyone needs me, I'll be rocking back and forth and singing Que Sera with my dictionary. Sirriously.

Marie Low is a cranky freelance journalist based in Gunnedah.