One of the flaws that I will readily admit concerning myself and my character is that I am absolutely a snob when it comes to being grammatically correct.
I have gotten slightly better about correcting people over the last few years, but I am fairly certain that I will always be this way to some extent. I always have a secret and cynical joy when I watch My Fair Lady (1964) and I hear this song…
Especially when I go to visit family and friends in the south, there are quite a few people who I would love to sing/say this to…
And I apologize beforehand if you find this offensive:
“Henry Higgins: Look at her, a prisoner of the gutter!Condemned by every syllable she ever uttered. By law, she should be taken out and hung for the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue!
Eliza Doolittle: Aaaaooow!
HH *imitating*: Aaaaoow!
Heavens! What a noise! This is what the British population calls an elementary education?
Colonel Pickering: Oh, Counsel, I think you picked a poor example.
HH: Did I?
Hear them down in Soho square, dropping ‘h’s’ everywhere, speaking English any way they like. You, sir! Did you go to school?
Random Man: Whaddya tike me for, a fool?
HH: No one taught him ‘take’ instead of ‘tike’! Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak? This verbal class distinction, by now, should be antique. If you spoke as she does, sir, instead of the way you do, why, you might be selling flowers, too!
Hear a Yorkshire man, or worse, hear a Cornish man converse–I’d rather hear a choir singing flat! Chickens, cackling in a barn, just like this one!
HH: I ask you, sir, what sort of word is that? It’s ‘aaoooww’ and ‘garn’ that keep her in her place, not her wretched clothes and dirty face. Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak?…An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him. The moment he talks, he makes some other Englishman despise him. One common language I’m afraid we’ll never get. Oh, why can’t the English learn to set a good example to people whose English is painful to your ears? The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears! There are even places where English completely disappears–in America they haven’t used it for years!
Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak? Norwegians learn Norwegian; the Greeks have taught their Greek. In France, every Frenchman knows his language from ‘a’ to ‘zed.’ The French never care what they do, actually, as long as they pronounce it properly. Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning, and Hebrews learn it backwards, which is absolutely frightening! But use proper English and you’re regarded as a freak! Why can’t the English learn to speak!”