Some blame foreign imports, some blame the rise of digital communications but whatever the cause, the craft of the traditional British village wordsmith has been in terminal decline for the past 2 decades.
Once a central part of any community, the wordsmith's art, honed over many years of deep study and adroit, loving manipulation has fallen victim to mass production and the ever decreasing value of accurate spelling, polished articulation and definitive meaning.
Look around at the litter of abused reflexive pronouns, phonetic misspellings and acyrologia and you might imagine that the demand for the wordsmith's skills was greater than ever.
However cheap foreign imports and the voracious appetites of text messaging, facebook and twitter for disposable colloquialisms, means that most people no longer have the time or the inclination to care about the proper use of an adverb.
Professor Erica Nurny of the Exeter School of Extreme Verbiage bemoaned the death of the wordsmith's trade and held television as a primary cause of modern lexicological laxity.
"The evolvement of an expansive gamut of broadcasted intercourse addressed by the televisual promulgators at our impressible progeny, is cultivating a proliferation of fallacious conceptions germane to the veridical employment of our copacetic vernacular".
Meanwhile in the Hampshire village of Nether Wallop, Britain's last practising wordsmith, Norman Shellac, is preparing to lock up his dictionaries for the last time.
"Nobody cares these days whether one should be allowed to use a preposition to end a sentence with."
"See, I just did it. Did anyone notice? Probably not!"
After 35 years serving the needs of the community, from the simple spell check to the more complex use of words such as 'there' and 'your', Norman departs his shopfront for the last time, a sign left hanging in the window, with the simple message: