Saturday 18 November 2017

Kevin Myers: RTE's reporters have went from bad to worse wit dese grammatical horror shows on de air

Kevin Myers

I pay my TV licence, just like you, and so we are subsidising a public service, namely RTE, from which I expect public standards; so I really shouldn't have to say what follows. However, that strange organisation doesn't behave like a public service organisation so much as a cult, with overpaid preachers and invisible accounts and strange rules that no one outside the organisation understands.

But it still shouldn't be too much to expect RTE's reporters to get the English language right. And no, I don't mean to speak in the Received Pronunciation of BBC newsreaders of 1958, but merely to use the correct past tenses of irregular verbs, and to pronounce the th- words properly.

Let's deal with verbs first. The simple past tense in English takes two forms: one is what is known (because it is completed) as the perfect tense, formed from the verb "have" and the main verb's past participle (as in, I have killed). The other is the preterite tense (as in, I killed).

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