Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Easy Sum


"What does 'quartered oak' mean, father?" inquired little Dennis McKay, who had been reading the advertisement of a large furniture manufacturing company.

"An here's the resoolts av iddication!" ejaculated Mr. McKay, with an expression of great contempt on his ruddy face. "Here's me b'y that's been a-addin an subthractin, mooltiplyin an dividin for the lasht sivin years coom nixt Daycimber, an has to ask his poor owld fayther the manin of a simple little soom loike that."

"Why, I didn't know" — began Dennis, much abashed, but his father gave a deprecatory wave of his right hand.

"And fwy didn't ye know?" he broke in. "Fwy? Because the cooltivation av common sinsce is not included in your coorycoolum at school, that's fwy. Stan me oop in a row, an ask me how manny is elivin, sivinteen, twinty-wan and forrty-four, an it's mesilf that ud have nivver wurrd to say. But let me casht me oy inter a windy where there's chape chairs an tables an other furnitoor, marked 'quarthered oak,' an the owld shtory av the apple cut inter four paces, that was larnt me as a b'y, cooms roight back to me.

"There's four quarthers to ivery blissed thin in this wurrld, Dennis, me son, an whin a table is 'quarthered oak' accoordin to the man that sells it, be the same token you may know it's thray quarthers poine, aven if he makes no mintion av it." — Youth's Companion.

Comment: I hate this kind of dialect stuff. I don't know precisely why anyone ever thought it was funny. But it likely had something to do with the 'melting pot' before it was really melted through. It definitely sets the spell-checker off.

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