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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 124

meaning what we call the administration, is always capitalized and plural, e. g., “The Government are considering the advisability, etc.” Vestry, committee, council, ministry and even company are also plural, though sometimes not capitalized. A member of Parliament does not run for re-election; he stands. He does not make a campaign, but a canvass. 13 He does not represent a district, but a division or constituency. He never makes a stumping trip, but always a speaking tour. When he looks after his fences he calls it nursing the constituency. At a political meeting (they are often rough in England) the bouncers are called stewards; the suffragettes used to delight in stabbing them with hatpins. A member of Parliament is not afflicted by the numerous bugaboos that menace an American congressman. He knows nothing of lame ducks, pork barrels, gag-rule, junkets, pulls, gerrymanders, omnibus-bills, snakes, niggers in the woodpile, Salt river, crow, bosses, ward heelers, men higher up, silk-stockings, repeaters, steam-rollers, ballot-box stuffers and straight and split tickets (he always calls them ballots or voting papers). He has never heard, save as a report of far-off heresies, of direct primaries, the recall, or the initiative and referendum. A roll-call in Parliament is a division. A member speaking is said to be up or on his legs. When the house adjourns it is said to rise. A member referring to another in the course of a debate does not say “the gentleman from Manchester,” but “the honorable gentleman” (written hon. gentleman) or, if he happens to be a privy councillor, “the right honorable gentleman,” or, if he is a member of one of the universities, or a member of one of the learned professions, “the honorable and learned gentleman.” If the speaker refers to a member of his own party he may say “my honorable friend.”
  In the United States a pressman is a man who runs a printing press; in England he is a newspaper reporter, or, as the English usually say, a journalist. 14 This journalist works, not at space