Letter:Non-U not known

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is misleading to credit Nancy Mitford with the "invention of U and Non-U language" (Obituaries, 25 July) on two counts. No one person invents a language and in this instance the dichotomy was adumbrated by Professor A S C Ross in a 35-page article in the Finnish scholarly journal Neuphilologische Mitteilungen in 1954.

It was Ross who coined the terms U and Non-U, but they failed to gain a firm foothold in the language and are scarcely known to students of English today.

JOHN ATKINSON

Skegness,

Lincolnshire

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