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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Everyday English, innit?

It's not often that my jaw drops open with shock or surprise, so it must have come as something of a jolt to discover that the word 'innit' is now permissible in Scrabble. Innit is a word (sort of) that asks for confirmation of a statement - or at least it used to. When Britain was a class-ridden place, the lower orders would have said 'ain't it' while the aristocracy would have asked 'don't you know'.
The thing that annoys me most about 'innit' is that is never changes: not tense, not person, nothing, never. Whereas correct English would be 'they ran down the street, didn't they?', street talk says 'they run down the street, innit?' Correct English in the future tense would be 'We'll go to that pub next week, shall we?' while 'innit' users will say 'We'll go to that pub next week, innit?'
'Innit' is not a word, it is an annoying tick that people who don't understand or care how English works add to the end of every expression or grunt in the hope of seeming cool, street-wise and fashionable. Not at all the people you'd expect to find settling down to a nice, quiet game of Scrabble...

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