Many thanks for the mongrel bitch

Some remarks were made in this venue about a specious BBC article by one Matthew Engel carping that supposed Americanisms are corrupting British English. Now, in true patriotic Amurrican fashion, lexicographer Grant Barrett has given the BBC a riposte.

“The mongrel bitch you gave us as a parting gift is getting along quite well,” he says. He is referring to what Mr. Engel called “the original version,” or British English. That is, Mr. Barrett says, “like calling one's firstborn "the original child."

The fun apart—and there is a fund of it in the article—you’ll want to check it out for clear, sensible, informed remarks on language and the tribe of peevers who imagine that their idiosyncratic preferences and superstitions are authoritative.


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