Why should I relearn my own language?

Although I am a native Englishman, I have lived outside of the country for over fourteen years with rare short visits back to my homeland. On such visits changes in most things do not surprise or annoy me. I accept that things will change and should not be kept the same to pander to my nostalgia.

However, I have recently decided that there is one change that I will not pander to or even contemplate. That would require me to relearn the very language that has stood me in good stead for over seventy years.

No longer can I take a stab at something, bite the bullet, have a deadline, take a shot in the dark or even kill two birds with one stone as they are all thought to be too violent.

 I can no longer start my presentations with ‘good morning ladies and gentlemen’, and I have no intention of starting presentations with ‘good morning to any of the seventy plus genders that may be present’!

Despite being OK where I reside at present, the word expat is a no-no. But then so is mum and dad.

Even my joke with my Aussie friends about whether their relatives were convicts doesn’t sound the same when you ask if they were ‘people of lived experience’! In fact, I resent the fact that you must have been a criminal to have a ‘lived experience’.

When it comes to visiting friends with kids I am not sure I could cope with birthing parent for mum or second biological parent for dad!

Certainly, don’t get me started on pronouns. I realised that I no longer recognised my own language when a rapist who identified as a woman insisted that the court refer to ‘her’ penis.

I wouldn’t mind a visit to the UK if I was able to debate some of these issues, but even debate seems to have disappeared from some of the centres of supposed knowledge. These are the same places that have renamed the spoiler alert that used to exist in book reviews to the term trigger warnings. Apparently the bible and many favourite children’s books need trigger warnings.

This all wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that a slip in translation to the new woke English might get me arrested and classed as a person of lived experience.

So, no I won’t be rushing to see if Babbel or Linguaphone have a woke English course, but will stay in my present overseas residence where I am still an expat, where I am still a dad and where I can still ask my Aussie friends if their relatives were convicts.

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