Was, Were And Ain't
Certainly we would all agree today that the use of "AIN'T" is proscribed and one also does not say "Arthur and Mary was married on 14 February
2005."

Yet there seems to have been a time when well-educated people, perhaps in an attempt to make fun, often said, and even wrote,"AIN'T" ("Ain't we got fun.") and "WAS" when "WERE" was clearly correct.

Victorians, for example, would often use such constructions.

What is the Full Story on these English Usage kinks and when were they put paid to?
D. Spencer Hines
Lux et Veritas et Libertas
Vires et Honor
1 2
Was, Were And Ain't Certainly we would all agree today that the use of "AIN'T" isproscribed and one also does ... such constructions. What is the Full Story on these English Usage kinks and when were they put paid to?

I don't know the Full Story, but my impression is that some Victorians thought it dashingly informal: just as well-educated youngsters today lard their speech with bits of "Estuary".
I think it was put paid to by the First World War. People I've talked to who were born after about 1890 were fiercely anti-Victorian afterwards, even if they hadn't been before; and my impression's rather confirmed in literature.

Mike.
Intriguing.
Yet "Smart Sophisticates" in London and New York were still using these Enallage Expressions in the 1920's and later.
See Cole Porter lyrics, for example.
DSH
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Intriguing. Yet "Smart Sophisticates" in London and New York were still using these Enallage Expressions in the 1920's and later. See Cole Porter lyrics, for example. DSH

And certainly Cole Porter was of that generation. But I can't think offhand of British examples.

Mike.
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Intriguing. Yet "Smart Sophisticates" in London and New York were ... 1920's and later. See Cole Porter lyrics, for example. DSH

And certainly Cole Porter was of that generation. But I can't think offhand of British examples.

Lord Peter Wimsey.

Lars Eighner (Email Removed) http://www.larseighner.com / "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler
And certainly Cole Porter was of that generation. But I can'tthink offhand of British examples.

Lord Peter Wimsey.

True enough! Can't remember any of his lyrics, though.

Mike.
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Intriguing. Yet "Smart Sophisticates" in London and New York were ... 1920's and later. See Cole Porter lyrics, for example. DSH

And certainly Cole Porter was of that generation. But I can't think offhand of British examples.

Noel Coward.

John Dean
Oxford
And certainly Cole Porter was of that generation. But I can'tthink offhand of British examples.

Noel Coward.

Did he do it in his own ordinary speech, though? (Genuine question.)

Mike.
think

Noel Coward.

Did he do it in his own ordinary speech, though? (Genuine question.)

Ordinary speech? Noel Coward? What would he have said to such an accusation! :-)

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