> Is the English language being gradually being degenerated by an influx of Americanisation?

Americanisms have been gradually crawling into British grammar since the 50s. “Yeah” “man” and “cool” were some of the first slang words to swim across the pond and make themselves at home.

They are treated like immigrants: they arrive welcomed by some, frowned upon by others, and in no time there are so many around that people have forgotten what was and wasn’t here in the first place.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about to turn into some patriotic rant about how Americans have ruined the language. I think they have done it some good. If the Beatles had sang “she loves you Yes! Yes! Yes!” it would have sounded silly. American English is ‘pretty sweet’ really. It’s an easy short cut to making a point. “Cool”, “wicked”, “killer”, “bad”, “radical” and many more allow flexibility in describing things that in most cases are just, well, really rather good. But the word “good” can get monotonous. Go figure.

We can hold the American entertainment industry as the main culprits for easing attitudes towards casual swearing and I thank them for this. Sometimes I’d find it fucking hard to express myself without it. Period.

The problem is that not everything we adopt is helping us or the language. It is somewhat killing it, and most of us don’t choose to adopt these words and phrases. We catch them like diseases.

One which I have avoided like the plague is awesomitosis. It has been around for some time but is now highly contagious and detrimental to the future of many other great words. In fact, “awesome” appears to be replacing most adjectives. The gig wasn’t brilliant, it was “awesome”. If someone requires a cigarette and I can spare one, it isn’t helpful, it is “awesome”. The food wasn’t exquisite, no, it was “awesome”. The comedian isn’t hilarious, oh no, he is “awesome”. The view isn’t fabulous, it is “awesome”. The latest Hollywood blockbuster isn’t fantastic or thrilling, no no no, you mark my words it is “awwwesome!” Everything is apparently so bloody awesome. For me it certainly isn’t.

Another is likerettes, where one fills gaps in sentences with the word “like”, regardless of whether it makes sense. It does not include the British habit of adding a “like” on the end, like.” This is far worse, like, you know, like so like irritating to like listen to, when you’re like, on the bus. “He was like this, and I was like stop saying like, cuz it sounds like, so like, stupid!”

The problem with likerettes syndrome is that you won’t know you have it until someone plays back a recording of you speaking. Your sentences are probably riddled with “likes” and you haven’t even noticed.

If you don’t want to fall victim to the above diseases, then treat them like Chlamydia and check yo’self once in a while..er..dude.