Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage by Emily Post, New York and London, Funk & Wagnalls Co, 1922/37.



If We Borrow from London

It is fashionable to copy London and say: Figger, cahfee, schedule, squeer-ril, la-bore-atory, secretary and long.  Bu those who adopt these pronunciations should remember to adapt the rest of their speech to match. Otherwise the imported words will suggest velvet patches on native overalls.

But those of us who are inclined to think America’s speech is alone bad and England’s alone perfect, can perhaps fine amusement as well as consolation in the comment made by HW Seaman, an Englishman writing from London, who describes an evening at a cinema where an American film is to be shown, as follows:

“A tramp crawls into a box car. A young man behind me says to his girl, “E’s a ‘aowbow.” An actress on the screen says “I just kean’t go through wuth ut; I just kean’t.” The voice behind says, “I daown’t mawnd the blinkin’ sleng; it’s the neyesal twang I cawn’t stick.”