Monday, 3 January 2011

my new book

It feels like Christmas again. This morning the mailman delivered my copy of Amsterdam:
Made by Hand (which I'll talk about again later) and other books and DVDs for all family
members. And no, I didn't camp by the letter box even though it would have been totally
worth it. 

A friend of mine, who lives in London, had recommended a book called
Her Ladyship's Guide to the Queen's English by Caroline Taggart. As a 
fan of books on proper language, and books in general (my hubby 
sometimes has to drag me out of bookshops or impose a book ban), I 
was intrigued. I have to say that the book is a gem. This passage is from 
pages 6-7 and by then I was already in love with Her Ladyship: 
"As to the first question – 'Who is Her Ladyship?' – she is a person of a certain age and a certain level of education. She is also, undoubtedly, of a certain class, although she claims that this is far less important now than it used to be. She admits to being a snob, but she is more a linguistic snob than a social one. She speaks a language that, for the purposes of this book, is called Elegant English. (It will become apparent that Her Ladyship uses the words Elegant and Inelegant very frequently; she does not say posh, and she begs her readers to follow her example. Let this be the first lesson in Elegant English: posh is not an Elegant word and it will not appear again in this book.) She also draws a firm line between the Elegant and the pretentious, and disapproves of the latter as strongly as she disapproves of the vulgar, the ugly and the inaccurate in language."
Ladies and gentlemen, it's elegant, not posh!

2 comments:

  1. Paris Made by Hand is now on my Amazon wishlist! I love words, too. Sometimes I read older books, Wuthering Heights, for example, and think how far language has deteriorated. Writing back then was so beautiful. But then I go out and use "posh" ;)

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  2. Paris: Made by Hand is on my wish list too. I'm hooked on older books, I always keep Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and many other canons within reach. I just wish my copies were old too!

    And I don't think I ever use 'posh' ;-)

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