THE march of education must sooner or later trample
down and stamp out anything like distinctive pro-
vincial dialect in England; but when this result
shall have been effected, much that is really valuable
will be lost to our language, unless an effort is promptly made to
collect and record words which, together with the ideas which
first rendered them necessary, are rapidly falling into disuse.
Although in all such collections there will be a large proportion of words and phrases which are mere curiosities of expression, utterly useless to the science of language, yet there will remain a considerable number well worthy of being retained, and if possible revived.
Every year new words are being imported into the English language and gradually coming into general use amongst us. Too many of these are selected from the ghastly compounds of illiterate advertizers, and many more are of the most offensive type of slang—the sweepings of the music-hall, the leavings of the prize-ring and the worst specimens of Americanisms, selected to the exclusion of many good old English words which are to this day more frequently used in the United States of America than in our own country.
The English Dialect Society, which has lately been formed, will soon become the centre of a very valuable influence, by encouraging and uniting many word-collectors who have been quietly working for some time past in different parts of the country, and by giving a right direction to their labours.