OT: a study in contrast (GB notes)

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 21 19:12:47 UTC 2010

This is really apropos of nothing in particular. I found the preface to
this book to be a brief but fascinating study in contrast. The sense of
"irritating" here is also unclear to me.

Chapter 22 contains some folk stories that the authors tried to preserve
in the dialect (although, of course, only superficially so). Some of the
stuff has a very Kiplingian feel to it, but, of course, the version of
How the Leopard Got His Spots is completely different--it involves
Ananse, the spider quite common in West African folklore. (And, if I am
not mistaken, "ananse" means "spider" in some local Ghanaian dialects.
Little knowledge is a dangerous thing.)


We Two in West Africa. By DECIMA MOORE AND MAJOR F. G. [Sir Frederick
Gordon] GUGGISBERG, C.M.G., R.E. Author of " The Shop." "Modern
Warfare," etc. London: 1909
> This is a most irritating book to read.
> My wife wanted to write an account of her travels---I wanted to write
> an account of mine. My wife was a newcomer and saw the novelty of
> things---I was a fairly old inhabitant and had grown accustomed to
> living in strange surroundings. My wife kept notes---I did not.
> The book, in fact, may either be described as experience looking on
> things through new glasses, or as a fresh receptive mind regarding the
> "Coast" with the eyes of experience.
> What makes our book additionally irritating is that, whenever we
> arrive at a by-path we unhesitatingly go down it. The slightest
> excuse, in fact, makes us ramble miles from the subject in hand at the
> moment.
> Throughout the book my wife talks---I write.
> F. G. G. Chatham.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list