Good English Week

Dear Friends,

Much of today’s short article comes from the book, “The Centennial History of the University of Central Arkansas.”  Since I authored that book, I don’t think the author will mind if I borrow some of his lines.

You will find attached to this post a pamphlet on Good English and why a Good English Week was held in various parts of the country and at UCA.  The pamphlet will tell the reader why we did it and how we did it.

According to “The Centennial History of the University of Central Arkansas” bottom of page 34 & top of page 35, “During the Torreyson administration, there was a valiant effort to improve the language of the Normal students.  To address the problem of poor grammar, Professor Andrew Jackson Meadors explained the importance of using correct English to the students in a morning talk at chapel.  Good English Week began on December 8 and ended on December 12, 1919.  Professor Meadors pointed out that Good English Week was a war on cheap slang and incorrect English.  He went on to say, ‘The chief aim and ideal set for the student body is to create a language consciousness on its part which will tolerate only that cultured usage of the English language which has been universally accepted by leading students of English.'”

“Good English Week may have made some students more cognizant of the importance of better grammar, but on others there was little or no positive impact.  Meadors related his experience to a Normal Echo reporter after he had asked a female student for her thoughts concerning Good English Week.  She had replied, ‘It ain’t goin’ to do no good.’

“Meadors went on to say, ‘On individuals of that type…the object and purpose of the campaign has been lost.  There is a vast majority, however, who have caught the full significance of this praiseworthy movement, and who will carry on the fight, even though Good English Week proper has passed.'”

I hope you enjoy reading about Good English Week that was observed almost 98 years ago at UCA.



Good English Week, UCA 1919