There is a trend in writing, no doubt started on the Internet, to use incomplete sentences to confirm that an order has been dispatched, an installation has been completed or a product launched.
I order books and other items from Amazon, and invariably receive an email: “Your Amazon.co.uk order has dispatched.”
This reads as if the order has dispatched something, but what? It cannot dispatch itself. There is a word missing here and it’s been as in has been dispatched. So, the order has now been shipped. Thanks.
Installing software on your PC? Once it’s done, a popup window will often tell you: “Installation has completed.”
What has the installation completed? Again, it should read: Installation has been completed. Never mind the missing word the as in The installation ….
Here is a grammatically correct suggestion: Your installation is complete.
I realise computer programmers are trying to save space, but this trend has spread to newspapers and I am not talking about headline writing, which is a clever old skill aimed at grabbing the attention of the reader.
I am talking about news stories. This week The Times of London wrote: “The first popular web browser was Netscape Navigator, the original version of which launched in 1994.”
Netscape didn’t launch itself. It was launched by someone. Hence: … which was launched in 1994.
We run the risk of being increasingly guided in the use of the English language by computer geeks!
I welcome your comments.