In a short story called “Mother Tongue” (2001), Ian McEwan writes about his efforts at acquiring standard English, a variety he had not learnt at home. As a result of his reading novels by Iris Murdoch and Graham Greene,
[s]lowly, nothink, somethink, cestificate, skelington, chimley all went, as well as the double negatives and mismatched plurals.
A friend corrected all his dones into dids, and nearly got into trouble for doing so: their teacher thought it “to be a display of rudeness and snobbery”.
This short story is about the conflict between language and class, but above all it is a lovely story about his mother.
Thanks to Marilyn Hedges for telling us about it.