Monday, October 28, 2013

Height of foolishness

I just received an e-mail, evidently widely distributed, that contains only these eight words: 
October 30 is Talk Like Jane Austen Day.
Poor Jane!  Nobody trivializes Dickens or Shakespeare that way.  Nor, come to think of it, do I refer to them as Charles or William.  Maybe it’s because she’s a woman?  But we don’t seem to have any Talk Like Charlotte Bronte Days…  At any rate, not to worry.  Jane Austen admitted, in her famous defense-of-the-novel aside in “Northanger Abbey”, that one of her goals was “well-chosen language” and she chose very well indeed.
                                                 Nobody will talk like Jane Austen.

1 comment:

  1. Granted, no one will ever talk like Jane Austen. But I must venture to disagree respectfully with the idea that it's trivializing her to aspire to do so. I try to talk like JA as often as possible--and I hope that both my speech and my writing are the better for it.

    Moreover, maybe we *should* have a Talk Like William Shakespeare Day. (I'd start with characterizing a few well-chosen individuals in the public eye as "naughty varlets.")