KINGS ENGLISH

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KING'S ENGLISH. A traditional term in Britain that is earlier than, and more or less synonymous with, STANDARD ENGLISH: ‘an old abusing of Gods patience and the Kings English’ ( Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1.4; 1598). It is altered to the Queen's English when the monarch is a woman: ‘Plea for the Queen's English’ (title of a work by Henry Alford, 1869, in the reign of Victoria). Formerly invested with considerable respect, the term has in recent years been used less reverently: for example, in The Queen's English: High Taw Tawk Prawpah-leah (London, Michael Joseph, 1985), the humorist Dorgan Rushton satirizes the ACCENT technically referred to as ‘ADVANCED RP’, mainly by means of eye dialect in which shouting is represented as ‘shiteing’, family as ‘fear-mealy’, and taxi as ‘tex-yah’. See EYE DIALECT, LONDON, RECEIVED PRONUNCIATION.

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