Nigella Lawson sparks Twitter debate on correct English use

The chef lamented the 'Americanisation' of the English language.

An Oxford University languages graduate, chef Nigella Lawson clearly knows a thing or two about words, and the correct way to use them. She also apparently has some pet peeves when it comes to incorrect use of the English language, which she decided to throw out to the public for debate in between tweets about recipes and book signings! 

“I do wish people would stop saying utilise in place of use,” the goddess of desserts wrote.

“Ditto envision rather than envisage.”  

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It appears Lawson isn’t alone in her distaste for poor English, with a lot of people agreeing with her, and many offering their own English language pet hates. 

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Martin Peacock wrote: “The American use of ‘normalcy’ rather than normality”, to which Lawson replied: “Yes, this too.”

One super-polite user chipped in his peeve, but followed up by clarifying that he wouldn’t be rude enough to correct someone!

“Irregardless instead of regardless. I stop myself from correcting others when I hear it lest I seem rude (must be the Canadian politeness in me),” he wrote. 

The mother of two was keen on language long before she found fame and fortune in the culinary arts. In fact, she studied medieval and modern languages at Oxford, and then worked as a book reviewer and a restaurant critic, even taking on the role of literary editor of The Sunday Times in 1986. 

And it seems her hang-ups with modern language isn’t without basis, with research showing that quite a number of British words have been replaced by Americanisms over the past couple of decades. 

Perhaps it’s time to bring some classics like “cheerio” and “marvellous” back into regular use?

Do you prefer old fashioned British English, or are you more partial to the modern ‘Americanisms’?