Foreign News: The Status War

In a London school playground, a little girl cried to a boy who had muffed her throw: "Cor blimey, you ain't 'arf a butterfmgers." The boy shouted amiably:

"Go boil yer 'ead!" Minutes later, in class, the same two children recited Housman's poetry, and their every o was pear-shaped, every a well rounded, every h clearly aspirated. Confided the boy: "We know if we talk nice—I mean, nicely—we'll get better jobs."

Beer at the Table. The children were reacting to a problem centuries older than Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (1912), in which he observed: "It...

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