Today on English Language Day, YouTube reveals Brits have turned their backs on the Queen's English and its worldwide use. New research shows that over half (54%) of Brits are not confident with their spelling and grammar skills.
In fact, 94% of Brits believe there has been a decline in the correct use of English language. The most common errors made by Brits are spelling mistakes (21%) followed closely by apostrophe placement (16%) and the misuse of a comma (16%). Misplaced commas are not the only cause for concern, more than half of Brits (56%) accuse swapping formal vocabulary for slang language.
The language ‘apost-astrophe’ could yet be salvaged, as new YouTube data shows the nation still has an appetite for learning. Since April 2017 there has been a staggering 126% increase in views to videos around English language lessons. In March 2018 alone, one hundred and fifty six videos on the subject have been uploaded onto YouTube for the world to view.
Lucy Earl of English with Lucy, offers engaging and insightful tips and advice to her online, ever growing classroom of one million subscribers. Her popular tutorials have covered topics ranging from modal verbs to adjectives and prepositions.
Speaking about the results of YouTube’s research Lucy Earl says: “It is only natural that our language will evolve, however, it is important to nip bad practise in the bud and not forget the foundations of our beautiful language”.
“Through YouTube I can provide a wealth of education to anyone, in any country and at any age. People don’t have to be embarrassed to ask questions or admit to not understanding something. I really believe that with a bit of self-motivation, anybody can improve their English language skills whether in their own living room, on their commute, or even sitting at their desk”.
To help the nation brush up on their English Language skills, Lucy’s top tips for speaking beautiful English are:
- Don't agonise over your accent - everybody has an accent. If you are looking to speak more clearly, you should focus on improving pronunciation rather than reducing your accent. Accents are beautiful and add to our cultural identity and heritage.
- The minute you have a doubt - find it out! I went years without knowing how to properly use apostrophes. One day I decided 'enough is enough' and finally researched their proper use. If I'd done that sooner I would have avoided years of umming and ahhing! Now, I keep a little list on my phone of all the random things I want to find out that pop into my head throughout the day(not just grammar related!!!). It has included everything from 'research Oxford comma' to 'learn how to oil a hinge'. With the internet, most solutions to our ongoing problems are just a google search away.
- Avoid the word 'very'. I think it's the most boring word in the English language. Why say 'very big' if we can say 'enormous'? If we have wonderful words like 'tedious' and 'exquisite', why do we need to say 'very boring' or very good'?
- Practise your best stories and anecdotes. It's all about the delivery! If you've got a couple of stories that you think are particularly good icebreakers, nail them!
View a selection of Lucy’s tutorials below along with a round-up of the most viewed YouTube videos related to learning English.