Not long ago, some bozo rear-ended my wife. He wasn’t going fast enough to injure her, but he was driving a pickup, and his bumper sailed over the bumper of our sedan and caved in the trunk and one of the quarter-panels. It caused more damage than the value of the car, and when the insurance adjuster left us a voicemail with news of the appraisal, he described it as a “total loss.” Then at the end of the message he said, “Have a great day.”

Invaders! The enemy is at the gates, and he looks just like us, but with better teeth. And really, we want to be his friend. And there are no gates. I’ve filed this piece under “Rants” and with good reason: I’m about to get right off my bike about British English’s gradual erosion and the slow, insidious advance of a simplified (dumbed down) form of American English.

But.