There was a time when if I saw a phrase such as “the below suggestions” I would assume the text had been written by a non-native speaker of English, but more and more I see it used by – well, almost everyone.
Below is not an adjective, it is an adverb. It tells us where something is, and it should go after the noun.
I really don’t mind the word being misused by people who don’t have English as their first language – after all I have been forgiven for making much worse mistakes than that in the foreign languages I speak. However, it really grates on my nerves when I see it from anyone else.
Today I received an email from an organisation that considers itself to be quite a big fish in the education world, in which they made reference to “the below items”.
What ever happened to “the following items” or “the items below”? Is this just me being pedantic, or does it irritate anyone else? Just wondering…