Now I KNOW that language is a living and breathing thing which changes with time and cultural variations….. BUT I do have a little objection to the influx of Americanisms, such ‘And I was, like, . . . ‘ Yes – every time I hear ‘I’m good!’ in response to the phatic greeting; ‘how are you ?’ a small part of my pedantic soul dies. Now I also know that in many ways American English is MORE traditional than ours- their use of the Chaucerian ‘z’ rather than an ‘s’ and their staunch adherence to ‘or’ rather than our bizarrely willing adoption of the French ‘ou’. My objection to Americanisms is that words and phrases are a reflection of societal mores, and theirs are different to ours. For example, the quaint expression ‘Knit and Natter’ conjuring up the image of a room full of Miss Marple lookalikes sharing tea, gossip and twinset patterns, is transmogrified in the US to ‘Stitch and Bitch’ which seems closer to the Witches of Eastwick than the Vicar of Dibley, where a pack of glamourous Cher clones, will be planning their moves with cold precision, (presumably whilst creating crocheted bondage gear.)
On this basis, I would like to propose a UK based alternative to the the word ‘cougar’ – meaning an older woman preying on younger men. Based on the image of ladies of a certain age wearing seductive underwear, I would suggest the title ‘basque terrorists’ which I feel creates a slightly less-threatening, and somewhat picaresque, image.