I recently finished reading ‘The Luckiest Girl in the School’ by Angela Brazil. I’ve been using the mobipocket e-book reader on my Nokia N95 smartphone.
The book is set during the Great War of 1914-1918, and seems to have been written about the same time. I imagine that at the time it may have been described as ‘an improving book for girls’. Or possibly ‘gels’.
The language used in the dialogue is marvellous. It reminded me of Harry Enfield’s Mr Cholmondley-Warner.
At least two characters use the word ‘topping’. From ‘The Cassell Dictionary of Slang’ by Jonathon Green:
topping adj. [early 19C+] excellent, enjoyable, first-rate. [SE top, 20C use is either ironic or consciously archaic]
I also encountered the word ‘aëroplane’, which I assumed was an umlaut over the first e. In fact it turns out it’s a diaeresis (or trema). From the Wikipedia:
It indicates that two adjoining letters that would normally form a digraph are actually split over two syllables. To put it simply: the diaeresis indicates that a vowel should be pronounced apart from the letter which precedes it.
For example, in the spelling coöperate, it reminds the reader that the word has four syllables, not three.
Noël Coward is pronounced No-el rather than Nole.
Noöne is no-one rather than noon.
A topping story and discovering a new feature of English, now that is tip-top!
UPDATE: Who knew that getting WordPress to deal with accented characters would be so difficult?