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Or even

September 28, 2014

Here’s an annoying little tic that’s become very common: when correcting a slip of the tongue, or keyboard, adding the phrase ‘or even’. Thus, a traffic announcer on the radio might say ‘There’s a major hold-up on the A406 on the eastbound approach to Brent Coss – or even Brent Cross!’ (The woman who does the traffic on BBC Radio 2 – I think she’s called Bobby – does this a lot.) Similarly if someone sends you a text with a typo which they’ve spotted before sending, rather than change it they might say ‘I’ll be back for sipper – or even supper’.

I suppose when this locution was first invented it was a joke – whimsically implying that the correct word or phrase was somehow odder than the incorrect one. I can’t swear I never used it in that way myself. But any trace of humour in it has long since dried up. It’s just mechanical now. Can we all just stop?

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