There I was, grumpy old man, nodding furiously at some columnist's complaints about excessive use of 'iteration' for every bloody time you print your shopping list out (could that be hyperiteration?).
Then along came ABC Lateline to discuss the latest 'versioning' of something.
Jeremy, no, no, no! This latest iteration of iteration as 'versioning' is verbing, it's wrong, and it must cease. Now!
NOT PEDANTIC ENOUGH?
PETER THE PROOFER IS PEDANTIC ENOUGH FOR TWO!
THAT INCLUDES YOU.
I apologise to the Welsh for never having quoted them before. Oh, and the Danes.
Hwyl is a stirring sense of well-being in Wales. Hygge is a kind of cosy comfiness in Copenhagen.
These words are untranslatable. To understand them, you must stand in the middle of a Welsh miners' choir or hide in front of a log fire after the four hours of daylight in Denmark.
VEXED BY THE VARIETY OF VOCABULARY?
PETER THE PROOFER WILL SAVE YOU!
No, there aren't too many fuchsias on it. Anyway, what would be wrong with that?
Fuscous means dark-coloured or sombre.
PANICKING ABOUT ASSIGNMENTS?
PETER THE PROOFER WILL SAVE YOU!
Well, you might not want to invite her to dinner, unless you have a fever.
The doctor's defervescence might just save your life by dropping you from 105 to 100, degrees Fahrenheit that is.
PETER THE PROOFER IS IN PERPETUAL SOLIDARITY WITH PEOPLE GRAPPLING WITH DOCUMENTS OF ANY KIND.
LET PETER THE PROOFER TAKE THE LOAD OFF!
Boy am I grumpy about noun abuse. Stop it at once!
No, no, no, you do not 'gift' something to someone, you bloody well give it, OK?
If it is a grand gift and you are kowtowing to the grandness thereof, you can say 'donate', 'bestow', or 'endow' or, if the donor is dead, 'bequeath'.
RIGHT, BACK TO YOUR FINAL ESSAYS!
PETER THE PROOFER WILL STRAIGHTEN THEM OUT!
It's hard to judge your own essays!
It's certain that the marker will judge it though. I can't get you a High Distinction, but I can make sure that your argument shines through and is not lost in a swamp of clumsy English.
Try it! I'll give you a free sample first.
PETER THE PROOFER CAN POLISH THAT ESSAY TO A SHINE!
Just keep breathing, OK? Go outside if the air is fresher there.
When you've finished, put it aside for a day or two and show it to fresh eyes. Sounds like an eyedrop, but it's better for your essay than that.
SEND IT TO PETER THE PROOFER AND FEAR NO MORE!
PETER THE PROOFER HAS FRESH EYES!
Fresh eyes sounds like something you'd see at the Fish Market, but it's much less scary!
Once you pour your entire soul into your essay at 2 a.m., you can't see it with fresh eyes anymore. It's part of you, like your tired eyes.
Even the next day, your eyes are something less than fresh. You need to show it to somebody else. Somebody who knows how to write English sentences and can suggest corrections and edits.
If you give me your essay, it will come back ready for handing in!
PETER THE PROOFER HAS FRESH EYES FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT!
HE WILL GET IT RIGHT FOR YOU.
There's something we should trial before we transition to a brave new world of verbing, the postmodern practice of wantonly turning nouns into verbs.
Just STOP before you do it!
STOP in the name of love of the English language! English has plenty of verbs, but just because they're often clunky and irregular does not give you the right to play havoc with them.
People have no respect for authority. It's shocking. We have a conservative government, and I call upon them to bloodywell conserve proper usage by setting up a very cushy, well-funded body named the Standing Committee on Proper Bloody English. I am very happy to be the first Chair of the Committee.
Malcolm, over to you.
DAZED AND CONFUSED BY IRREGULAR VERBS?
PETER THE PROOFER WILL FIX ANY TEXT!
Well, the Sydney Morning Herald has got me going today by reporting a sign somewhere asking taxis 'not to rank' there.
It's just one sign, so maybe we can nip this in the bud! No, no, no, you definitely cannot have this verb because it is already a verb with a whole different meaning, OK?
To rank is to be placed in a hierarchy of status. So, I would advise taxis not to rank in case they might rank 'unter Uber', to mangle my mother tongue!
COMPLETELY BEFUDDLED BY THE PLASTICITY OF ENGLISH?
PETER THE PROOFER CAN SET IT IN STONE!