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Statesmanlike language

Perhaps I shouldn't poke fun at people who use American English. After all, some words from across the pond, like "gotten", originated in Britain and have been preserved by our former Colonial cousins.

But is it just me, or do you feel like resorting to violence when the person next to you at the bar asks "can I get" instead of "can I have" a pint of beer? Hardly surprising that London bar staff opportunistically take things a step further and return the change in a tip-tray.

You could be forgiven for assuming such linguistic tics are the result of watching too many US television programmes. But you would be wrong. Further education is also playing its part.

Take the latest press release from FForwm, which represents Welsh colleges.

"FE Lecturers and students to meet with (sic) Tony Blair", it says. "It's a real honor (sic)," says Melanie Monteith, the international baccalaureate coordinator at coleg Llandrillo.

Let's just hope lecturers don't continue the theme by referring to the Prime Minister as President. He's a bit sensitive about that one.

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