Grammarnoir 3: The wages of syntax, Part 4
GRAMMARNOIR 3: The wages of syntax Part 4:
The mother tongue
Professor Luce looked bewildered; I looked at the sharp piece of metal near my vitals; Amber moved next to Rebecca.
“All right, blossom,” I said, “what’s this little dumbshow all about?”
“We have had our eyes on you for some time, and this masquerahd with my sister was a means to get you into our hands. Indeed, you fell into them like a piece of overripe fruit.”
“ ‘MasquerAHD?’ How’d you make your voice do that? And who in Fowler’s name are ‘we’?”
“We, you cretinous twit, are the Queen’s English Society. Unable to stanch the flow of your barbarous locutions to our once-fair isle, we have determined to re-colonise America and restore the Mother Tongue.”
“Babe, that’s crazy talk.”
“To effectuate this, it becomes necessary to neutralise likely obstacles. While you and your pathetic ‘blogging’—execrable word—are fundamentally insignificant, you have nevertheless shown potential as an irritant. So the decision was taken to remove you.”
“You’re spelling all those –ize verbs with an s, aren’t you?”
“We shall see how long your feeble witticisms persist after a few months at our re-education camp at Tunbridge Wells.”
“I think not,” I said, plucking a pica pole from the professor’s desk and bringing it down, hard, on her wrist. The copy spike fell to the floor.
Then Amber, little Amber, grabbed her sister’s hand and twisted her arm behind her back.”
“ ’Ello, ’ello, ’ello, what’s all this now?” came a voice at the door. It was a bobby, damn my eyes, followed by a figure in a trench coat and battered fedora.
“Who the hell might you be?” I asked.
Taking a pipe from his mouth, Trench Coat said, “Fabian, of the Yard.”
“Scotland Yard, here?”
“Just so. We’ve had our eye on the Queen’s English Society for some time, and the younger Miss Wurd Smith here tipped us to her elder sister’s activities and the society’s machinations. Her Majesty’s government feel, particularly in light of the difficulties with America during Lord North’s ministry, that the society’s plans were ill-conceived. And so my colleague here, the one with the handcuffs, will be taking Miss Rebecca Wurd Smith into custody.”
“It’s a fair cop,” I said.
“Quite,” said Fabian of the Yard.