“Better American Speech Week”

Published: September 15, 2013

We’re in the midst of a grammatical battle here at BackStory (“a historian” or “an historian”? That’s the question of the hour). And while doing due diligence on the grammatical research side, we came across this “Children’s Language Pledge” – a highlight of “Better American Speech Week,” a women’s club initiative that ran from 1918-1930. As the Pledge suggests, using “proper” language was as much about asserting Americanism as improving everyday speech – reflecting concern with domestic aliens during World War I, and with immigration more generally. More on this at The Web of Language.

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