Bertie vs. Mr Brown

source: wikipedia

The film Mrs Brown (1997), featuring Judi Dench and Billy Connolly, includes an interesting scene from the point of view of prescriptivism. At one point (ca. 50 minutes into the film), Bertie, the Prince of Wales, addresses the pertinent Mr Brown, saying:

Do you know who you address, Sir?

To which Brown replies:

Whom you address …

Exit Bertie.

Elswhere in this blog I gave some examples of prescriptivism in literary fiction, but it seems that prescriptivism is also exploited in films, to very good effect, as the correction effectively shuts Bertie up (as indeed such corrections do in real-life conversations). Any similar examples of this in films? But the really interesting point is the relationship of the above scene with the blogpost by Morana Lukač in which she shows that whom has been steadily on the way out since the 1930s. Was the above scene inspired by the awareness on the part of the script writer of this development in the 1990s?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in usage features and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s