There’s been yet more celebrity harrumphing about the decline of language, this time with the otherwise splendid Emma Thompson having a pop at teen slang.
Coming in for particular attention was ‘innit’, which in UK English has become shorthand amongst certain groups for not just ‘isn’t it’ but ‘aren’t we’, ‘didn’t he’, ‘haven’t we’, ‘shall I’ and such. For example “I’ll come to see you one day, innit.” Or “He looks good, innit.”
For sure, these constructions would not land you that job in a top fund management firm. “Yeh man, that yield curve was sick, innit!”
But as Thompson goes on to acknowledge, people are perfectly capable of maintaining different dialects for different occasions, as I am reminded when overhearing my children adopting the local speech patterns of hereabouts with their pals.
‘Innit’ is just another fine example of linguistic evolution – a genuinely useful word. Let’s celebrate it – in its proper place of course. Innit.