Some years ago I blogged about the art installation that has been added to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. I thought it was just a temporary thing, a reaction to the financial melt-down of 2008 but obviously it isn’t. In Alexander McCall Smith’s recent Scotland Street book The Bertie Project he mentions this installation. He’s not happy that the word ‘alright’ is there instead of ‘all right’. He has his character Domenica complaining of the use surmising that it must be deliberate as Kingsley Amis desribed ‘alright’ as ‘gross, crass, coarse and to be avoided,’ and Bill Bryson, hardly a fuddy-duddy describes its use as ‘illiterate and unacceptable.’
Domenica admits that she feels very old-fashioned in expecting people to be able to spell. It’s one of McCall Smith’s meandering conversations that often bring in modern morality or ethics.
But a more recent installation in the gallery across the road and several years on from the melt-down is taking a much more pessimistic and possibly Calvinist attitude to our situation.
It seems we’re done for!