I have always appreciated the grace and dignity of written English. The ability to express oneself is much to be valued. My years in the Army were under the cosh of officialdom where there was plenty of form but little style. This is not to say that the services encourage illiteracy; their staff writing has very serious style directives but is drawn to convey intentions and to report detailed fact rather than wander lonely as a cloud.
This explains why I enjoyed something in today’s Times Register amongst the obituaries. One of these concerned a Romany man who became a leader of the organised Gypsies. (It’s OK – the p.c. brigade cannot touch me - I used a capital G).
He was described as having an ‘impressive physical presence, softened by a touch of the dandy that emphasised his Romany heritage’. Having grown up in Essex where Gypsies were known for the purity of their breeding, I can see him before me. So well, almost, that I could have forecast the next comment. “S***h left his wife for a male friend, which led to some tactless criticism amongst traveller families in southeast England whose social tolerance lagged behind those of mainstream society”
There, is that not wonderful?