Letters to the Editor

‘Drink-driver’ not English

  • The Collins English Dictionary reference: drink-driver (noun) — a person who drives while under the influence of alcohol

Dear Sir,

For years, every time I read “drink-driving” or “drink-driver” in the paper, it feels to me like someone scratching their nails on a chalkboard.

“Drink” is a noun. “To drink” is the verb. “Drink” is not an adjective to describe the state of a person. DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under the influence) are the more grammatically correct terms to use.

I know where “drink-driving” came from. It is probably a very bad colloquialism from the UK. It is certainly not good English.

I would expect a reporter to know and use the grammatically correct terminology.

Today I see “rolling bins”. Please. Rolling trash cans is the correct word. That term came from the same place.

This is Bermuda. Like it or not, we are more American in our word usage. Leave that stuff where it came from.



Editor’s note: With all due respect, Ms Douglas, American-English newspapers are to be found in America, where they were given the English language and repurposed it to their own satisfaction in the decades after the American Revolution. Bermuda remains a British Overseas Territory, and this is a British-English newspaper. “Drink-driver” is a perfectly acceptable and grammatically correct British-English word. We would rather not have to use it at all.