Thursday, 12 May 2016

Plus ça change. Out of the mouths of babes

It's exam time, again. Teachers all over the nation will, no doubt, be noting the amusing blunders made by some of their pupils.

This morning,, I finished cataloging Jill Grey Books, Box 17, at the British Schools Museum. My favourite, was a book from 1905, called "School Room Humour", by Dr Macnamara. Many of the humourous sayings are taken from the Schoolmaster Publication (the organ of the National Uion of Schoolmasters.).

 It was all I could do to stop myself reading the whole book. The Preface warned of those stories of which the author, like the Scotsman ' hae ma doots!' One such was the Bristol schoolboy who wrote 'The bowels are five in number, a, e, i, o, and u.' Had I stopped to read, the box would not have been finished within the three hours I had worked.

I made a note of a link to the Universal Library, where I found a copy of the book (third edition, 1913) available for download.

In addition to it being time of exams, it is also a time of Elections and, in the UK, a Referendum. . In the early 1900s, one girl wrote an exam essay which began 

An election means two things. 

First, the voice of the people spoken by choosing the most eligible person or persons to represent their creed, requirements, or grievances.

Secondly, an election means lies, treachery, hypocrisy, drunkenness, anxiety, disappointment, and glorification.

Out of the mouths of babes.