John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey
the_gneech

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Today's Forgotten English

knight of the grammar
A schoolmaster.
--Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922


Better-Speech Week
H. L. Mencken's The American Language (1919) recalled a well-intentioned movement to improve American English: "Multitudes of American pedagogues still believe that the natural growth of the language is wild and wicked, and that it should be regulated according to rules formulated in England. To this end they undertake periodical crusades against 'bad grammer.' ... In 1915, the National Council of Teachers of English -- following that hopeful American custom which gave the nation Mother's Day and Safety-First and Eat More Cheese Weeks -- proposed to make the first seven days of November Better Speech Week. Some of the schoolma'ams, despairing of effecting a wholesale reform, concentrated their efforts upon specific crimes, and among subsidiary weeks thus launched were Ain't-less Week and Final-G Week. They also established a Tag Day, and hung derisory tags on youngsters guilty of such indecencies as I have got and It's me."

This makes me snicker. Truly. :)

-The Gneech
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