Written by Martin Gooseflesh
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Wednesday, 11 April 2007

image for "Excuse Me, It's Dead." Say Experts
"Excuse me." No longer part of modern English

The Oxford English Dictionary, arbiter of correct usage in the English language, is to remove the phrase "Excuse me" declaring it to be officially obsolete.

Director of the OED, Penny Silva said:

"We have been tracking the use of the phrase since 1997 when it was first noted to be in decline. The simple fact is that nobody has used 'excuse me.' since 2003. This makes it no longer a part of modern English usage."

According to Mrs. Silva in situations where a person wants to get past someone, they are likely to use the one word Shift, but even more common is not to say anything at all. In this case they do one of two things; either just barge past the person in front of them perhaps with a optional grunt ("We haven't been able to add that yet as we can't decide how it should be spelt.") or just stand behind the person, saying nothing and patiently waiting till they are noticed.

Mrs. Silva also said that this change was nothing new.

"The English language is constantly in a state of flux. Words and phrases fall out of use and new ones come in to existence all the time, after all nobody says Forsooth and verily any more.

Prime Minister, Tony Blair was asked to comment on this during Prime Minister's Questions.He said he was "saddened by the news," but he accepted the inevitability of the situation.

The OED also expressed grave concern about the phrase 'thank you' saying that it had been almost entirely replaced by the less precise and much more relaxed one word reply 'cheers'. They said however both phrases were alive and well in the twisted version of the language known as American English but that that didn't really count.

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