Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This (h)as upset me today.....

I have a colleague at work. I shall call him Dave (for that is his name). He's a nice bloke, we look at each over a partition all day, every day, and if you spend that much time with someone you soon work out whether you like them or not.

Our work involves being presented with technical problems via an online system, to which we are required to write technically precise responses, which will allow the person at the other end to hopefully progress with their task, happily enlightened with the wisdom that we have imparted. All good stuff you will agree.

But as always, there's a fly in the ointment (isn't there always). Dave is from the West Midlands. This means in normal speech he has tendency to speak in a rather monotone manner and drop his aitches. I don't mind this. I love that in the UK we have so many accents and that despite the increasing amortisation of society, our accents continue to survive, evolve and invent new colloquialisms to entertain us. Some accents I like more than others but I will also accept that's just personal preference.

However, and here's the rub, Dave has unilaterally decided that the letter "h", when used at the start of words is no longer required in written speech. This means he regularly will write sentences such as "You ave to update the table as it as an index." or "Your colleague needs to apply the patch to correct is problem" or something similar. Granted, that sentence is an accurate representation of how he would speak but it is not how it should be written. Dave, to my eternal frustration, also agrees what he has written is incorrect, and even more frustratingly, he also agrees that in certain contexts, it will render what he has to say completely meaningless but he continues to do it. He just doesn't think it's that important.

I lost my rag with him today. I'm still shaking. Am I being unreasonable?


Ladybristol said...

No I don't think you are. I don't like to read anything that is shortened, such as text talk, mainly because it takes me ages to work out what the person is trying to say and when drunk it's even harder!

londongirl said...

Nope. Entirely reasonable. Speaking face to face is different - we have all the non verbal signals too, which ensure that we get the message. Over an email, people don't have that. the point of communication is to communicate. If he's making that harder then it needs to be, he's obtuse.

King of Scurf said...

Thank you ladybristol and londongirl; I feel vindicated....and I've calmed down now. I still like the bloke.