Happy Birthday Charles Dickens!
February 7, 2005 8:41 AM Subscribe
The Dickens Project.
Today is also the birthday of Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870)
, English novelist, who in his American Notes
of 1842 made numerous scathing observations about speech patterns he had noted during his five-month visit to the United States that year. He wrote, for example, that once he had left the more cosmopolitan areas of New York
, nasal drawls were the rule, the grammar was "more than doubtful," and the "oddest vulgarisms
" were "received idioms." he was so caustic that the normally mild and diplomatic Ralph Waldo Emerson
was moved to defend his countrymen from Dickens's characterizations: "No such conversations ever occur in this country, in real life, as he relates. He has picked up and noted with eagerness each odd local phase that he met with, and when he had a story to relate, has joined them together, so that the result is the broadest caricature."
YEAH Ralph! Back in the day, that was what we would now call a "Verbal Beatdown
" (Nas lyrics, probably NSFW)
posted by indiebass (11 comments total)