“Definitive Wit of Winston Churchill”

“Definitive Wit of Winston Churchill”

Thanks, Col­in Ran­dall, for the kind words. Con­tact me for a copy of the big book from which The Defin­i­tive Wit of Win­ston Churchill was derived.

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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