LETTER: Do it matter?

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The Independent Online
From Dr Meridel Holland

Sir: There is a real difference between time-honoured and charming dialect usage, as valued by Pam Ayres (Another View, 13 October) and many others, and the creeping bane of the new illiteracy. Forms such as "should of", "might of went", beloved of the nation's youth, do not yet appear in print.

It is possible that we are living in an age of transition, after which the new illiteracy will have turned into the time-honoured: after all, modern French no doubt developed from a Latin that would have made Cicero turn in his grave. During the transitional era, however, there is bound to be protest as long as there are those who care about the standard spoken and written language, and who believe that their protests will make a difference.

Yours faithfully,

Meridel Holland

Hitchen, Hertfordshire

13 October