Repressed memory of prescriptivism awakened

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Nov 4 17:55:04 UTC 2013

by Wilson, who recently wrote "During The War, we children - the fight
against calling immature people "baby goats," . . . had not yet been lost".

My first grade teacher was a young woman who liked to draw.  One day she
heard one of the children speak of a kid who beat up another kid.  She
objected, drawing a profile of a goat's head on the chalkboard, to
illustrate the proper meaning of the word "kid", and a bowl with an
eggbeater in it, for the proper sense of "beat up".

I forget how she preferred to hear the thought expressed.  "A child
walloped the bejesus out of some other child", perhaps.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

The American Dialect Society -

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