In "honor" of grammar day (an event which profoundly annoys me because it always brings out people's pet peeves about grammar, I present the following Punch
cartoon (cited in Richard Bailey's Nineteenth-Century English
, showing that middle-class insecurity about language has been around for a long time. It's the governess, not the rich kid, who cares about "proper" speech. She's the one who is socially insecure, after all.
"EVIL COMMUNICATIONS," &c.
Lord Reginald. "Ain't yer goin' to have some Puddin', Miss Richards? It's so Jolly!"
The Governess. "There again, Reginal! 'Puddin''--'Goin''--'Ain't yer'!!!
That's the way Jim Bates and Dolly Maple speak--and Jim's a Stable-Boy, and
Dolly's a Laundry-Maid!"
Lord Reginald. "Ah! but that's the way Father and Mother speak too--and Father's
a Duke and Mother's a Duchess!! So there!"