Language in literature

This webpage is a repository of quotes from pieces of literature which are interesting for various linguistics-related reasons.  These can be especially useful in seminars/lectures on language variation and change.

‘”A cinch,” said Dick, “I promise you, honey, we’ll blast him all over them walls.” “‘Those'” walls,” said Petty. A dictionary buff, a devotee of obscure words, he had been intent on improving his companion’s grammar and expanding his vocabulary ever since they had celled together at Kansas State Penitentiary.’

T. Capote, In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences (London: Penguin Books, 2000) 20-1.

*’Christ, then he would have knowed I wasn’t telling the truth.’

Capote 21.

‘Square, squat, in the earlier forties, and Englishwoman fitted out with an accent almost incoherently upper-class, Mrs Archibald William Warren-Browne did not at all resemble the café’s other frequenters, and seemed, within that setting, like a peacock trapped  in a turkey pen.’

Capote 110.

*’How a body can’t sleep.’

Capote 111.

*’he is beginning to think of a more easier way of supporting himself in line with life.’

Capote 125.

“‘I believe that the English language is the most expressive and contagious form of communication. To begin with, we should be thankful that we have this unique gift of a great language. And if we abuse it we are only abusing ourselves. So let us listen, heed, acknowledge our heritage, and yet explore and take risks with language… […] We must forget England and their use of our common tongue. Even though English usage is fine, our own American language contains many deep wells of unexplored resources. These resources, as yet, remain untapped. Given the proper moment and the proper writers, there will one day be a literary explosion…'”

Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye (Edinburgh/London: Canongate, 2015 ) 124-5.

‘”Our American culture,” she [Miss Gredis] said, “is destined for greatness. The English language, now so limited and structured, will be reinvented and improved upon. Our writers will use what I like to think of, in my mind, as Americanese…”‘

Charles Bukowski 128.

‘”See this slot?”

“Yeah”

“What?”

“I mean, “yes.””‘

Charles Bukowski 249.

‘Sometimes as the instructors talked on and on about the evils of nazism (we were told always to spell ‘nazi’ with a small ‘n’ even at the beginning of a sentence) and fascism I would leap to my feet […].’

Charles Bukowski 291.

*‘”Can I see it?”

He belched, then said, “Foller me…”‘

Charles Bukowski 323.

‘Not I! I don’t overeat myself […].’

D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Great Britain: Penguin Popular Classics, 1997) 35.

The whole book is sociolinguistically interesting!

*“I hope, sister, things are not so very bad with you neither -“

J. Austen, Mansfield Park (Great Britain: Penguin Books, 1966) 63.

*“It would save me many a heart-ache.”

J. Austen, Park X.

*“”Fanny,” said Edmund, after looking at her attentively; “I am sure you have the headach?””

J. Austen, Park 101.

“”Do you think the church itself never chosen then?” “Never is a black word. But yes, in the never of conversation which means not very often, I do think it. […] A clergyman is nothing.” […] “The nothing of conversation has its gradations, I hope, as well as the never.””

J. Austen, Park 120.

*“There was nothing disagreeable in Mr Rushworth’s appearance, and Sir Thomas was liking him already.”

J. Austen, Park 195.

“”[…] I am so glad your eldest cousin is gone that he [=Edmund] may be Mr Bertram again. There is something in the sound of Mr Edmund Bertram so formal, so pitiful, so younger-borther-like, that I detest it.” “How differently we feel!” cried Fanny. “To me, the sound of Mr Bertram is so cold and nothing-meaning – so entirely without warmt or character! – It just stands for a gentleman, and that’s all. But there is nobleness in the name of Edmund. It is a name of heroism and renown – of kings, princes, and knights; and seems to breathe the spirit of chivalry and warm affections.” “I grant the name is good in itself, and Lord Edmund or Sir Edmund sound delightfully; but sink it under the chill, the annihilation of a Mr – and Mr Edmund is no more than Mr John or Mr Thomas”.”

J. Austen, Park 224.

*“A large income is the best recipé for happiness  I ever heard of.”

J. Austen, Park 226.

*“[…] you look very nicely indeed.”

J. Austen, Park 233.

“and having talked of poetry, the richness of the present age, and gone through a brief comparison of opinion as to the first-rate poets, trying to ascertain whether Marmion or The Lady of the Lake were to be preferred, and how ranked the Giaour and The Bride of Abydos; and moreover, how the Giaour was to be pronounced […].”

J. Austen, Persuasion (Oxford: OUP) 98.

* ‘(turning to the waiter), “did not you hear, – did not his servant say whether he belonged to the Kellynch family?” “No, ma’am, – he did not mention no particular family; but he said his master was a very rich gentleman, and would be a baronight some day.”‘

J. Austen, Persuasion 103.

“Why, the Black Princess, though she has only left school, must be two or three and twenty. And you should see the hand she writes! Mrs Colonel Haggistoun usually writes her letters, but in a moment of confidence she put pen to paper for my sisters; she spelt satin “satting”, and Saint James’s, “Saint Jams”.”

W. M. Thackeray, Vanity Fair (Great Britain: Wordsworth Classics, 2001) 184.

“”My master would have four,” said Mr Joseph Sedley’s servant, who was in waiting; and he and Mr Osborne’s man agreed, as they followed George and William into the church, that it was a ‘reg’lar shabby turnhout, and with scarce so much as a breakfast or a wedding favour’.”

Thackeray, Vanity 196.

“Then these two lads went off to the Slaughters’, and having ordered a famous dinner, sat down and wrote off letters to the kind anxious parents at home – letters full of love and heartiness, and pluck and bad spelling.”

Thackeray, Vanity 218.

“”You will now, if you please, my dear, sit down at the writing-table and pen me a pretty little letter to Miss Crawley, in which you’ll say that you are a good boy, and that sort of thing.” So Rawdon sate down, and wrote off, “Brighton, Thursday,” and “My dear Aunt,” with great rapidity: but there the gallant officer’s imagination failed him. He mumbled the end of his pen, and looked up in his wife’s face. She could not help laughing at his rueful countenance, and marching up and down the room with her hands behind her, the little woman began to dictate a letter, which he took down.

“Before quitting the country and commencing a campaign, which very possibly may be fatal.”

“What?” said Rawdon, rather surprised, but took the humour of the phrase, and presently wrote it down with a grin.

“Which very possibly may be fatal, I have come hither—”

“Why not say come here, Becky? Come here’s grammar,” the dragoon interposed.

“I have come hither,” Rebecca insisted, with a stamp of her foot, “to say farewell to my dearest and earliest friend. I beseech you before I go, not perhaps to return, once more to let me press the hand from which I have received nothing but kindnesses all my life.”

“Kindnesses all my life,” echoed Rawdon, scratching down the words, and quite amazed at his own facility of composition.

“I ask nothing from you but that we should part not in anger. I have the pride of my family on some points, though not on all. I married a painter’s daughter, and am not ashamed of the union.”

“No, run me through the body if I am!” Rawdon ejaculated.

“You old booby,” Rebecca said, pinching his ear and looking over to see that he made no mistakes in spelling—”beseech is not spelt with an a, and earliest is.” So he altered these words, bowing to the superior knowledge of his little Missis.

“I thought that you were aware of the progress of my attachment,” Rebecca continued: “I knew that Mrs. Bute Crawley confirmed and encouraged it. But I make no reproaches. I married a poor woman, and am content to abide by what I have done. Leave your property, dear Aunt, as you will. I shall never complain of the way in which you dispose of it. I would have you believe that I love you for yourself, and not for money’s sake. I want to be reconciled to you ere I leave England. Let me, let me see you before I go. A few weeks or months hence it may be too late, and I cannot bear the notion of quitting the country without a kind word of farewell from you.”

“She won’t recognise my style in that,” said Becky. “I made the sentences short and brisk on purpose.” And this authentic missive was despatched under cover to Miss Briggs.

Old Miss Crawley laughed when Briggs, with great mystery, handed her over this candid and simple statement. “We may read it now Mrs. Bute is away,” she said. “Read it to me, Briggs.”

When Briggs had read the epistle out, her patroness laughed more. “Don’t you see, you goose,” she said to Briggs, who professed to be much touched by the honest affection which pervaded the composition, “don’t you see that Rawdon never wrote a word of it. He never wrote to me without asking for money in his life, and all his letters are full of bad spelling, and dashes, and bad grammar. It is that little serpent of a governess who rules him.” They are all alike, Miss Crawley thought in her heart. They all want me dead, and are hankering for my money.””

Thackeray, Vanity 233-4.

Thackeray, Vanity, chapter XXVII & XXVIII (Irish English).

“Jos accompanied the ladies in the public boats, the which all old travellers in Flanders must remember for the luxury and accommodation they afforded.”

Thackeray, Vanity 252.

“So it is! Power is there, and always will be. As soon as two or three men come together, especially to do something, then power comes into being, and one man is a leader, a master. It is inevitable.”

D. H. Lawrence, Apocalypse (Praha: Levné knihy KMa, 2007) 18-19.

“The Antichrist and the Urdummheit are just the fellow who is different from me. To-day Antichrist speaks Russian, a hundred years ago he spoke Frenchm tomorrow he may speak cockney or the Glasgow brogue. As for Urdummheit, he speaks any language that isn’t Oxford or Harvard or an obsequious imitation of one of these.”

Lawrence, Apocalypse 52.

“Symbols mean something: yet they mean something different to every man. Fix the meaning of a symbol, and you have fallen into the commonplace of allegory.”

Lawrence, Apocalypse 69.

“‘Have some more sherry, Hilary, just a smidgin?’ A new fashionable word of Laura’s. Diminutive of ‘smudge’? […] ‘Have some white wine, Hilary.’ ‘Just a smidget.’ […] ‘Some whisky?’ ‘A smudgeling.’ ‘A what?’ ‘A smudgeling.””

Iris Murdoch, A Word Child (Great Britain: Triad/Panther Books, 1976) 7-11.

“She still had her northern accent. I had got rid of mine.” [of Crystal]

Murdoch, Child 14.

“I also learnt, of course, my own language, hitherto something of a foreign tongue. I learnt from Mr Osmand how to write the best language in the world accurately and clearly and, ultimately, with a hard careful elegance.”

Murdoch, Child 21.

“Grammar books were my books of prayer. Looking up words in the dictionary was for me an image of goodness. The endless endless task of learning new words was for me an image of life.”

Murdoch, Child 22.

“I was not a philological prodigy. I lacked that uncanny gift which some people have for language structure which seems akin to a gift for music or calculation. I never became concerned with the metaphysical aspects of language. (I am not interested in Chomsky. That places me.)”

Murdoch, Child 23.

“I got rid of my northern vowels.” [describing his studies at Oxford]

Murdoch, Child 23.

“I loved words, but I was not a word-user, rather a word-watcher, in the way that some people are bird-watchers. I loved languages but I know by now that I would never speak the languages that I read. I was one for whom the spoken and the written word are themselves different languages.”

Murdoch, Child 28.

“I early saw that the nature of words and their relationship to reality made metaphysical systems impossible.”

Murdoch, Child 28.

“Her father, never visible, was a dispensing chemist in Fife. Tommy, in referring to him, always mentioned that he was a ‘gentleman’: presumably a Scotticism.”

Murdoch, Child 34.

“She pronounced it ‘skairmish’.” [a Scottish character, skirmish]

Murdoch, Child 43.

“Her voice was something of a surprise. I had expected the chi-chi accent, so unmistakable, so indelible, so charming. But this was an English voice, even, as I later discovered, with traces of London vowels.” [of an Indian girl]

Murdoch, Child 54.

“As for Tommy’s letter with its picture of happy home life with the little ones it made me want to spew. At any rate she had not been gurgling about ‘bairns’, as she sometimes did.”

Murdoch, Child 83.

“‘Poetry is where words end.’ ‘Poetry is where words begin.'”

Murdoch, Child 88.

“‘I always thought the Tower of Babel such a sinister myth,’ said Freddie. ‘Who could love a God who deliberately confused mankind in that mean way?’ ‘One could respect him,’ said Clifford. ‘He knew his business.’ ‘I wonder if there’ll ever be a real international language?’ said Freddie. ‘There is. English.’ ‘Hilary is so chauvinistic.’ ‘What about Esperanto?’ said Laura. ‘Hilary, do you know Esperanto?’ ‘Of course.’ ‘Do you think it – ?’ ‘How can one tolerate a language where the word for “mother” is “little father”?”

Murdoch, Child 97.

* “You make me to see and to be.”

Murdoch, Child 198.

* “[…] the rain which had been tap-tapping discreetly upon Gunnar’s window […].”

Murdoch, Child 205.

“‘I thought you couldn’t possibly really come from India.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because of your voice. You’re a little Cockney girl, aren’t you? You were born in, let me see – Stepney?’ ‘East India Dock Road.’ […] Her voice had indeed the flat twang of east London, but her speech had some more ancient simplicity or perhaps it had just been in some way maimed or gutted as a result of living for so many years among educated people without being one of them.”

Murdoch, Child 235 & 236.

* “‘I may call you “Hilary”, mayn’t I?'”

Murdoch, Child 239.

“There was also, I saw, a memorial tablet of Thomas Stearns Eliot. How is it now with you, old friend, the intolerable wrestle with words and meanings being over? Alas, I could not pray for your soul any more than I could pray for Clifford’s. You had both vanished from the catalogue of being. But I could feel a lively gratitude for words, even for words whose sense I could scarcely understand.”

Murdoch, Child 384.

“‘Don’t greet so, my poor bairn,’ said Tommy to Crystal. ‘Must you use these affected Scotticisms?’ I said to Tommy. […] ‘That’s what’s fashing her.'”

Murdoch, Child 385-386.

“Roland Weary and the scouts were safe in a ditch, and Weary growled at Billy, “Get out of the road, you dumb motherfucker.” The last word was still a novelty in the speech of white people in 1944. It was fresh and astonishing to Billy, who had never fucked anybody – and it did its job. It woke him up and got him off the road.”

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse 5 (Great Britain: Vintage, 2000) 24.

“What would Victoria become, here? Would she grow up into a street urchin, plimsolls, no socks, grimy tee shirt, with a London accent grating on a nicely-brought-up ear?”

Angela Cartner, The Magic Toyshop (London: Virago Press, 1994) 58.

“”Is it five she is?” wrote Aunt Margaret with a trace of brogue.”

The Magic, 48.

“He spoke with a faint but recognisable Irish lilt.”

Carter, The Magic, 35.

“Pearls are the tears of fishes […].”

Carter, The Magic, 195.

“”´E´s ´orrible!” gasped Victoria, making her mind up about Uncle Philip in a rush. Her recently acquired aspirates gave way completely under the stress of emotion.”

Carter, The Magic, 75.

“His flat, South London voice seemed coarse to Melanie and, once again, she hoped Victoria would not pick the accent up.”

Carter, The Magic, 80.

“”I come in for me rosin and you´re lying on the ground. The dog sniffing.” He talked as if he never thought in words and had to invent them to describe the shapeless, bulky concepts in his mind as he went along.”

Carter, The Magic, 119.

“[…] you might think was a hand unless it is still your distress.”

Carter, The Magic, 120-121.

“They gave it me St Patrick´s night […].”

Carter, The Magic, 126.

“The thumb the father, short and thick-set, probably a Northcountryman, with flat, assertive vowels in his speech […].”

Carter, The Magic, 161.

“”Is “pet” an Irish endearment?” she asked, sidetracted. “Oh, it´s quite common all over the British Isles, I should think.”

Carter, The Magic, 168.

CLOV: The bastard! (tj. blecha)

HAMM: Did you get him?

CLOV: Looks like it. [He drops the tin and adjusts his trousers.] Unless he’s laying doggo.

HAMM: Laying! Lying you mean. Unless he’s lying doggo.

CLOV: Ah? One says lying? One doesn’t say laying?

HAMM: Use your head, can’t you. If he was laying we’d be bitched.

Beckett, Endgame, f&f, 27.

HAMM: Yesterday! What does that mean? Yesterday!

CLOV: [Violently.] That means that bloody awful day, long ago, before this bloody awful day. I use the words you taught me. If they don’t mean anything any more, teach me others. Or let me be silent.

Beckett, Endgame, f&f, 32.

“Go and see is she dead.” (41) “Go and see did he hear me.” (43)

Beckett, Endgame, f&f.

“What did I do with that stoops?”

Beckett, Endgame, f&f, 46.

“Ah pardon, it’s I am obliged to you.”

Beckett, Endgame, f&f, 51.

“”As far as I have had opportunity of judging, it appears to me that the usual style of letter-writing among women is faultless, except in three particulars.”

“And what are they?”

“A general deficiency of subject, a total inattention to stops, and a very frequent ignorance of grammar.””

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (England: Penguin Books, 1972) 49. 

“This question answered, as it readily was, the stranger pronounced her’s to be Thorpe.”

Austen, Abbey 52.

“After a few minutes consideration”

Austen, Abbey 75.

“Do you go and see for her, Mr Morland, said I.”

Austen, Abbey 77.

“And yet I have heard that there is a great deal of wine drank in Oxford.”

Austen, Abbey 83.

“and those men who do not chuse to dance or marry themselves”

Austen, Abbey 95.

“”The nicest; – by which I suppose you mean the neatest. That must depend upon the building.”

“Henry,” said Miss Tilney, “you are very impertinent. Miss Morland, he is treating you exactly as he does his sister. He is for ever finding fault with me, for some incorrectness of language, and now he is taking the same liberty with you. The word “nicest,” as you used it, did not suit him; and you had better change it as soon as you can, or we shall be overpowered with Johnson and Blair all the rest of the way.”

[…]

“Oh! it is a very nice word indeed! – it does for everything. Originally perhaps it was applied only to express neatness, propriety, delicacy, or refinement; – people were nice in their dress, in their sentiments, or their choice. But now every commendation on every subject is comprised in that one word.””

Austen, Abbey 122-3. 

“while the trunks were carrying down”

Austen, Abbey 162.

“”I have just learnt to love a hyacinth.” […] “But now you love a hyacinth.” […] “but you may in time come to love a rose?””

Austen, Abbey 178-9.

“”Anyway, it’s not old chip,” I told him in the end, during one of our disputes over how our game should proceed. “It’s old chap.” Akira, as I knew he would, protested vigorously. “Not at all. Not at all. Mrs Brown. She make me say again and again. Old chip. Old chip. Correct pronunciation, everything. She say old chip. She teacher!””

Kazuo Ishiguro, When We Were Orphans (Britain: faber & faber, 2000) 52.

“his English often let him down if I spoke out of context like this.”

Ishiguro, When We 72. 

“”You’re going to be as fit as a fiddle in no time.”

There was another pause, and I remembered from years ago how Akira would fail to follow me if I used colloquialisms.”

Ishiguro, When We 260.

“She had many acquaintance in the place, for her father was universally civil […].”

Jane Austen, Emma (Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1979) 39.

“Miss Taylor has been use to have two persons to please […].”

Emma 42.

“[…] and the wedding cake […] was all eat up.”

Emma 49.

“[…] but still the cake was eaten […].”

Emma 50.

“But will there be good room for five couple? […] five couple are not enough to make it worth while to stand up. Five couple are nothing, when one thinks seriously about it.”

Emma 254.

“”Do come with me,” said Mrs Weston, “if it be not very disagreeable to you.””

Emma 242.

“[…] that the Churchill’s might not allow their nephew to remain a day beyong his fortnight.” (262) “the Eltons” (271)

Emma 262 & 271.

“[…] he was happily placed, quite at his ease, ready to talk with pleasure of what had been atchieved […].”

Emma 353.

“It’s useful function, you know, at a time like this, when everything is an official secret, to remind people that their tongues were made to talk with and that the truth is meant to be spoken about.”

Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter (London: Vintage, 2004) 248.

“The words vibrated with sincerity: it gave them the sound of foreign language – the sound of English spoken in England. Here intonations changed in the course of a few months, became high – pitched and insincere, or flat and guarded. You could tell that Wilson was fresh from home.”

Greene, Heart 32.

“He said in an unmistakably Scottish accent, ‘Ah’m Loder, chief engineer.'”

Greene, Heart 104.

“As they moved up the hill to the bungalow, the persistent Scottish voice, as regular as the pulse of a dynamo, came back to them.”

Greene, Heart 105.

“Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viola or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?”

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Praha: Levné knihy KMa, 2005) 28.

* “Come on. Who’s this? Who’s this got my box?”

Harold Pinter, The Caretaker (French’s Theatre Group, 1960) 25.

* “I mean, I got used to sleeping this way. It isn’t me has to change, it’s that window.”

Pinter, The Caretaker 31.

“Mr Tulliver did not willingly write a letter and found the relation between spoken and written language, briefly known as spelling, one of the most puzzling things in this puzzling world. Nevertheless, like all fervid writing, the task was done in less time than usual, and if the spelling differed from Mrs Glegg’s – why, she belonged, like himself, to a generation with whom spelling was a matter of private judgement.

George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (London: Penguin Popular Classics, 1994) 129.

“He had not been there a fortnight before it was evident to him that life, complicated not only with Latin grammar but with a new standard of English pronunciation, was a very difficult business, made all the more obscure by a thick mist of bashfulness.”

Eliot, Mill 134.

“About Latin he had an opinion and thought that in case of another war, since people would no longer wear hair-powder, it would be well to put a tax upon Latin as a luxury much run upon by the higher classes and not telling at all on the ship-owning department.”

Eliot, Mill 231.

“‘She speaks French?’ Mrs Poultney’s alarm at this appalling disclosure was nearly enough to sink the vicar. But he ended by bowing and smiling urbanely. ‘My dear madam, so do most governesses. It is not their fault if the world requires such attainments of them.’

John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (Great Britain: Pan Books, 1987) 33.

“Sarah’s voice was firm, rather deep. It retained traces of a rural accent, but in those days a genteel accent was not the great social requisite it later became. There were men in the House of Lords, dukes even, who still kept traces of the accent of their province; and not one thought any worse of them.”

Fowles, Woman 36.

“He had a very sharp sense of clothes style-quite as sharp as a “mod” of the 1960s; and he spent most of his wages on keeping in fashion. And he showed another mark of this new class in his struggle to command the language. By 1870 Sam Weller’s famous mobility to pronounce v except as w, the centuries-old work of the common Londoner, was as much despised by the “snobs” as by the bourgeois novelists who continued for some time, and quite inaccurately, to put it into the dialogue of their Cockney characters. The snobs’ struggle was much more with the aspirate; a fierce struggle, in our Sam’s case, and more frequently lost than won. But his wrong a’s and h’s were not really comic; they were signs of a social revolution, and this was something Charles failed to recognize.”

Fowles, Woman 41.

“‘From Mr Charles, Miss Tina. With ’er complimums.’ Mary spoke in a dialect
notorious for its contempt of pronouns and suffixes.”

Fowles, Woman 70.

“It is difficult to imagine today the enormous differences then separating a lad born in the Seven Dials and a carter’s daughter from a remote East Devon village. Their coming together was fraught with almost as many obstacles as if he had been an Eskimo and she, a Zulu. They had barely a common language, so often did they not understand what the other had just said.”

Fowles, Woman 115.

Mal (if I may add to your stock of useless knowledge) is an Old English borrowing from Old Norwegian and was brought to us by the Vikings. It originally meant “speech”, but since the only time the Vikings went in for that womanish activity was to demand something at axe blade, it came to mean “tax” or “payment in tribute”. One branch of the Vikings went south and founded the Mafia in Sicily; but another – and by this time mal was spelt mail – were busy starting their own protection rackets on the Scottish border. If one cherished one’s crops or one’s daughter’s virginity one paid mail to the neighbourhood chieftains; and the victims, in the due course of an expensive time, called it black mail. If not exactly engaged in etymological speculation, Sam was certainly thinking of the meaning of the word […].”

Fowles, Woman 182-3.

“But the more these conscious illusions of the ruling classes are shown to be false and the less they satisfy common sense, the more dogmatically they are asserted and the more deceitful, moralizing and spiritual becomes the language of established society.”

Marx in Fowles, Woman 211.

“We all write poems; it is simply that poets are the ones who write in words.”

Fowles, Woman 132.

“Language is like shot silk; so much depends on the angle at which it is held.”

Fowles, Woman 391.

“He saw, too, what had always been dissonant between them: the formality of his
language – seen at its worst in the love-letter she had never received – and the
directness of hers. Two languages, betraying on the one side a hollowness, a foolish constraint – but she has just said it, an artificiality of conception – and on the other a substance and purity of thought and judgment […].”

Fowles, Woman 383-4.

“In those days only the uncouth Yankees descended to telegraphese.”

Fowles, Woman 286.

“Even if it was hardly yet reflected in their accents and use of the language, these two were rising in the world; and knew it.”

Fowles, Woman 363.

“‘Well, for sure case, I knawn’t how they can understand t’ one t’other: and if either o’ ye went there, ye could tell what they said, I guess?’ ‘We could probably tell something of what they said, but not all – for we are not as clever as you think us, Hannah. We don’t speak German, and we cannot read it without a dictionary to help us.'”

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (London: Penguin Books, 2006) 436.

“She is not an uneducated person, I should think, by her manner of speaking; her
accent was quite pure; and the clothes she took off, though splash and wet, were little worn and fine.”

Brontë, Jane Eyre 444.

“They speak with the broadest accent of the district. At present, they and I have a difficulty in understanding each other’s language.”

Brontë, Jane Eyre 470.

Responses

  1. Tak ten Míšin přístroj se mě snažil přinutit, abych se identifikoval jako Henry Lewis, velký to velšský jazykozpytec.


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