ENGLISH FOR ALL
H. L. Mencken has broadcasted a myth to the effect that there is an "American Language", some wonderful, polyphonic, polyglot thing to dream over and to be proud of. But someone is always awakening people from their little dreams. The recently organized "Committee on Everyday English", which is associated with the University Extension, has flatly asserted that English is the true tongue of America; and worse still, it intends to "restore the archaic and correct to popular speech until the latter shall become a well of English, pure and undefiled."
The Boston Public Library, it seems, is to play the role of Rebecca. When some disciple of pure English, anxious to struggle out of the habit of saying "atta boy," telephones for help, it will draw forth from this well the correct equivalent in Chaucerian, Spencerian or Tennysonian diction. No longer will the proprietor of the esoteric den use "Shoppe" for "Shop"; on more can stenographers delude anyone into thinking that Sanskrit is good English; no more will street-car conductors be able to say "Watch yer step" instead of 'Take care of the drop" without meeting the haughty stare and the raised eyebrow of regenerated America.
The glorious future which the Committee has opened up before the nation is breath taking in its expanse. Gazing spellbound down the long aisles of light we seem to see invitations to the Postmasters' Ball written in Milionian sonnets, advertisements made worthy of a new Golden Treasury, and Waldorf menus gotten up in heroic couplets. Then and only then can we say with Dr. Pangloss that "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds."