Mr. Randall in The National for 28 June 2014:
…disappointment lurks at every corner for champions of “proper” English.
It comes as a bitter surprise to learn, from Churchill’s Wit: The Definitive Collection, Richard M. Langworth’s splendid volume of the sayings of one great speaker of English, that numerous quotations attributed to the British statesman were not his at all.
So Lady Astor, the US-born English politician, did not tell Winston Churchill that if he were her husband, she would put poison in his coffee. Therefore, he cannot have made the delicious retort: “If I were married to you, I’d drink it.” The exchange may ooze wit, eloquence and attention to grammatical detail but Langworth cites evidence that it was a joke from a Chicago newspaper in 1900.
Perhaps the time has come to look again periodically at the articulate, annoying and amusing things we do with one of the world’s most widely spoken and commonly taught languages.
Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/if-language-is-a-living-thing-what-exactly-is-x2018properx2019-english#ixzz36zSioWxj
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