Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Just chequeing

And now, the end is near, I will must write, the final cheque...

In eight years time, another word will become redundant. Another British spelling lost. We will no longer need to worry about tutting every time an American writes check when they should be writing cheque.

I remember writing my first cheque. I wrote a cheque to pay for a curry. I went to an Indian restaurant in glorious Thornton Heath with a friend and I felt so sophisticated as I pulled out my cheque book and scribbled on the paper, handing it over with my card.

There was fear too, fear that I would be seen as some sort of fraud. It was the first time I'd paid for anything without actually having laid down the cash. It didn't seem right somehow.

Ah for nostalgia for the simple things like the expression "it's not worth the paper it's written on". And now, I can pay by card at my newsagents. It still doesn't feel as though I'm spending money.

And I've managed to do most of my Christmas shopping without stepping foot in a shop. If I don't go to a shop, how can it be shopping?

Words are funny things really. They only have the meaning you give them just as a cheque only has the value you agree with the person you present it to.

'Cheque' will go once the physical product disappears but 'shop' remains even when it's virtual.