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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Hence why....

It's not like me to get wound about about the use of the English language.  After all, I'm a firm believer that English is an ever growing, every changing dialect and as such should be allowed to flex and change to suit the needs of the people it serves so well.  

Take the most recent entries into the Oxford english dictionary, which as any fool who's ever read "The Surgeon of Crowthorne" will tell you, was mostly developed by an alleged lunatic held in the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum for the sake of his sanity and indeed ours...  

Image

traceur - A practitioner of the sport/art of parkour. A skilled runner and jumper. 


gordita - A cute/pretty chubby girl. Used affectionately. 

Va-jay-jay - a synonym for the word vagina which most people are unaware of. 

posilutely - as in the phrase "Absotively Posilutely" coined in the 1988 Disney film "Oliver & Co"

Dodger: And once you got the beat, you can do anything.
Oliver: I can?
Dodger: Absotively Posilutely


To name but four examples of the language that have been readily adopted and are now considered normal.  I digress...  Significantly. (Oh and thanks to the Urban Dictionary for the above definitions - as I don't have access to the full OED because it costs 600 quid)

To return to my point. The word "Hence". Now to my mind this word is the equivalent of the three dotted triangle in maths used to represent "therefore"...

So as an example..

It was raining, therefore I used an umbrella...  Or
It was raining, hence my use of an umbrella.

I'm sure you follow.  As I said, the mangling the of the language doesn't often offend me, except for this particular case.  For some reason it drives me a little batty to hear the phrase "hence why" employed in a sentence.  It just doesn't fit. It seems to me that use of the word "why" in this context is spurious and as such un-required. In much the same way as the word "un-required" was irrelevant in the last sentence due to the use of the word "spurious"... Understood?

If you said "hence" (or therefore) then you surely don't need to say why.  It's a bit like like people who mangle three letter acronyms such as "VIP People" - which as any fool knows means they've said the word "people" twice. It seems to me, that "hence why" is the same as saying "and that is why why"..  Basically it makes no sense at all.

The trouble is, lately I hear this phrase being used more and more. Is it me? I'm certain it's wrong, but if you know otherwise, let me know in the comments.

In the mean time - you'll see me wince whenever I hear it, hence why I hate it so....   D'oh



This post originally appeared here: Posterous
 

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