Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Pygmalion: 68% Complete
I'm just flying through this play; it's just so short! But I am enjoying it a lot. It's very light reading but there's certainly a lot of deeper points being made about men "owning" women and women's right to be treated as something other than property.
The vocabulary word for today is "plinth" which is "a heavy base supporting a statue or vase or the lower square slab at the base of a column" (definition from The New Oxford American Dictionary)
I have two quotes for today, both of which relate to the English language. I'm a lover of English myself, so I especially appreciated these two. The first is from the preface. Shaw writes:
"The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it. They spell it so abominably that no man can teach himself what it sounds like. It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him. German and Spanish are accessible to foreigners: English is not accessible even to Englishmen."
The second quote comes from the mouth of Henry Higgins, who is railing against Eliza's pronunciation and usage of the language.
"A woman who utters such depressing and disgusting sounds has no right to be anywhere--no right to live. Remember that you are a human being with a soul and the divine gift of articulate speech: that your native language is the language of Shakespear and Milton and The Bible; and don't sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon."
Although I'm pretty sure you can't say that English is the language of the Bible, he does have a point!