Missing accent

June 11, 2004

In an otherwise excellent review of David Crystal's The Stories of English (June 4), Duncan Wu wonders whether the author is being a trifle hard on William Wordsworth's claims to use the language of the middling or lower classes of working people.

Whatever Wordsworth may have claimed in this regard, he never wrote any Cumbrian-language poetry in the same way his local contemporaries did. Using canty (meaning active) and rhyming water with chatter do not make Goody Blake and Harry Gill and Resolution and Independence , respectively, Cumbrian-language poems.

Alan Butler
Director, The Miner's Lamp Theatre Company
Whitehaven, Cumbria

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