Monday, September 21, 2015

Speed-cops on patrol

Another Mencken footnote:

In July, 1932 (News of the World , July 24), the Assistant Bishop of Guildford, Dr. Cyril Golding-Bird, appeared before the Farnham (Surrey) magistrates on a charge of dangerous driving. The policeman who arrested him testified that, on being overhauled, he demanded “Are you a speed-cop ?” His Lordship, evidently in fear that the use of an Americanism would prejudice the bench against him, stoutly declared that he ”was not sufficiently colloquial” to have used it. But the magistrates, taking a serious view of the matter, fined him £10 and costs and suspended his driving license for three months.

H. L. Mencken, The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States, 4th ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1936).
Also from The American Language
The American v. the Englishman : B.V.D. : English American English : “[N]o faculty so weak as the English faculty” : Playing policy : “There are words enough already” : The -thon , dancing and walking : The verb to contact

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