I’m a misanthrope - I’m the first to admit it. I could be quite the happy little misanthrope, were it not for the sudden acquisition of a social life and a girlfriend about three years ago. It’s hard to hate people when some of them are your best friends.
But my misanthropy comes not from nastiness but from a deep-seated and long-established desire to make the world a better place. If I snarl at strangers, it’s not because I truly despise them but because inside I’m thinking, “Why can’t you try harder?” Why, for example, did the woman watching me pick up a loaf of bread in the shop ask me, “Have they started selling bread here now?” Surely just a second or two of thought and she could have realised it was a redundant thing to say.
I am, at heart, a lover of words, an observer of communication, and I cannot stand to see language abused and wasted. A good portion of the things that I’ll post about here will be about language used carelessly, language used insultingly and, yes, language used incorrectly. Shop assistants who call me “sweetheart”, youths who use the f-word as a noun, verb and adjective in the same sentence; my annoyances are many and varied.
Add to this my need for good manners, my inexplicably incompatible loathing for conventionality and the fact that I work with children, and it’s easy to see that I should have plenty of material.