I’ve written about this subject before, here, here, here, and here. Whenever one learns a new word or talks about an odd subject, one will see it again “out of the blue” within 24 hours. This used to happen to me once a month. Now it seems to happen all the time. It can be something relatively common (like a random Star Wars excerpt or particulars of skateboarding) that manifests itself within 24 hours, or it can be even more bizarre. Perhaps this will become more clear if I describe a recent example:
Anyone who has seen My Fair Lady remembers how the father of Eliza Doolittle talks. He has a funny way of speaking. Note carefully these famous lines of his:
“I ain’t pretendin’ to be deservin’. No, I’m undeservin’ . . . and I mean to go on being undeservin’. I like it and that’s the truth. But will you take advantage of a man’s nature? . . . Do him out of the price of his own daughter, what he’s brought up, fed and clothed by the sweat of his brow?”
Obviously, Mr. Doolittle should have said “whom he’s brought up” not “what he’s brought up.”
So, a few days ago, I started asking myself, “What would it be like if we all spoke as Eliza Doolittle’s father?” A question like this: «Are there any Germans working here?» would change to: «Are there any Germans what work here?» A statement like this: «Good things come to those who wait.» would become: «Good things come to them what wait.» A proverb like this: «There is danger for him who taketh the tiger cub, and danger also for whoso snatches a delusion from a woman.» would now read as: «There is danger for him who taketh the tiger cub, and danger also for him what snatches a delusion from a woman.» A sentence like this: «Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl … the girl who has everything?» would change to «Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl … the girl what has everything?»
Almost like clockwork, what do I come accross later that very day, while reading a little Sherlock Holmes?