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May I have a word about… why is everyone on a journey? | Jonathan Bouquet

“‘Everyone, including myself, has their own journey figuring out sexuality and getting more comfortable with it,’ says singer/actor Harry Styles.” “Tom Middleton is on a journey to uncover the deep science of sound, sleep and more.” “‘It’s been a ridiculous journey’: Euros winner Jill Scott follows Ellen White into retirement.” “I cried when England won. It’s been a long journey for women’s football – and for me.” What is with all these people going on journeys? Marco Polo or Ferdinand Magellan they ain’t. Surely they’re simply finding out about things and the less of the grandiosity the better.

Nouns used as verbs, part 9,999. A BBC reporter, discussing the mess that is the English courts system, averred that they “were being backlogged”. Which would not have pleased Peter Gould of Halifax who wrote thus: “An article about the Finnish PM said she HELMED a five-party coalition. Why not she led or was at the helm of?” Nor Mark Davies, who drew my attention to an online BBC report: “Six climbers will undertake a six-day mission to summit the 15,774ft mountain in an effort to highlight a spirit of reconciliation.” I’m only glad that the various athletics events of the summer have come to an end. If I hear one more over-excited competitor talk about “medalling”, the radio is going out of the back door.

Another disgruntled correspondent is Jonathan Hauxwell: “We miss out words if we can get away with it – we now ask that others ‘bear with’. With what? My opinions, the wallpaper, the air conditioning? The other vexation is the missing subject at the end of the delivery of food to your table: ‘Enjoy.’ If it wasn’t for the rise in pitch of the voice, I’d swear it was an order.” Bon appétit.

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