The 25 most beautiful words

A press cutting from an American newspaper from 1911  found in an old lexicon. It reads:

A contest to decide the twenty-five most beautiful words in the English language, conducted by the West Fifty-seventh street Branch of the Y. M. C. A., this week was won by John Shea, a lawyer, of 416 Broadway. The prize was a flexible leather standard student's dictionary. Twenty-one of the twenty-five words submitted by Mr. Shea were accepted. "The words accepted are melody, splendor, adoration, eloquence, virtue, innocence, modesty, faith, joy, honor, radiance, nobility, sympathy, heaven, love, divine, hope, harmony, happiness, purity and liberty. Three of the words rejected were grace, justice and truth. 

This story seems to have been syndicated as another paper of the time explains that 'grace' and 'justice' were stricken out because of the harshness of the 'g' in grace and the 'j' in  justice and the word truth was eliminated because of its metallic sound.100 years later in a less religion centred world it would be a different list - love and happiness, heaven, hope and liberty might still make it…(also truth and justice might be allowed back.) However melody, splendor, adoration, eloquence, virtue, innocence, modesty, faith, honor, radiance, nobility, sympathy,divine,  harmony and purity might not..

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A Shilling a Day on Food

Found--a cutting of an interesting article from the mid 1920s by Walter M. Gallichan, journalist, novelist and writer on health, sex education and fishing. Undated but probably from the Daily Mail (mention of Woodman Burbidge on the rear of the press-cutting puts in the 1920s when he was chairman of Harrods.) The purchasing power of a shilling (5p) then is about £2.50 now, still a fairly low sum for a day's food.

A Shilling's worth. Full day's Food - by Walter M. Gallichan.

A shilling spent with discrimination will purchase a substantial and savoury meal of non rationed foods. The foods that offer the highest nutritive and force-giving value are still fairly cheap. A shilling may be wasted upon food of an expensive kind containing only a minimum of nutriment. For example, a shilling's worth of jelly may be purchased under the delusion that gelatine is an excellent food, possessing considerable nutritive value. As a matter of fact, the calf's foot jelly commerce and the packet 'jelly squares', thought easily digested and pleasant to the palate, are practically worthless for repairing the waste of the body and giving energy.

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Mr. Presley Sheds Some Mannerisms

Found in an old book, a press-cutting from November 10th 1960 about Elvis. The style and look is of The Times but it is not stated.They regard the movie G.I.Blues as 'nothing' but seem (in a very stiff manner) to have fallen under Elvis's spell.. On the back is stuck another cutting, tabloid in style, stating that Sandra Dee does not like Elvis ('he acts a little undignified when he wiggles…') and  noting Hollywood's Louella Parsons remarks about the King - 'I'm  glad I put my money on Elvis Presley in those early days when so many people were ridiculing him -in GI Blues he sings well without wiggling and acts in a perfectly natural way...'

Mr. Presley Sheds Some Mannerisms

Style of his own in 'G. I. Blues'.

The young popular entertainer, especially if he is singer, is apt to be judged less by reason than by prejudice - and prejudice derives its impulse largely from the accident of age. A large and enthusiastic tick will be placed opposite his name by the vast majority of those who have yet to experience the joy of being 21; crabbed middle-age, and all on the wrong side of it, will draw through it a thick line, eloquent of disgust and disapproval.

Mr. Elvis Presley had had considerable experience of both kinds of treatment, but even those most determined to condemn must, it they are at all fair-minded, have second thoughts after seeing 'G. I. Blues', directed by Mr. Norman Taurog and now to be seen at the Plaza Cinema. The film itself, one of those American service comedies which so painfully stress the licentiousness of the soldiery, is nothing, and serious criticism would soon lose itself in the vast wastes of vulgarity that are its natural home, but Mr. Presley himself is a different matter.

As Tulsa, a tank gunner serving in western Germany, he is an acceptable person. Gone are the "side-boards" that were such an offence to the conservative, and gone, too, are those convulsive jerks of the body, making him resemble a jelly in a high wind, which used to accompany his singing. He has in this film a considerable number of songs, some of them above the average in tunefulness, to sing, and he sings them pleasantly. He has an unmistakable style of his own, yet there are moment when the ghostly image of the youthful Bing Crosby flickers across the screen.

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The Worst Government for 100 years?

This rant on Harold Wilson's Labour Government came from the Wells (Somerset) Conservative Association. It was a one page flyer printed in blue ink and had first appeared in The Daily Telegraph. Anthony Lejeune, a highly competent journalist and author is not gifted with a Wikipedia page but there are traces of his career from a search on the site. He wrote a history of London clubs and has written about Arthur Machen and Fr. Brocard Sewell. He has written about Ernest Bramah in The Tablet which may mean he is a Catholic and almost certainly a book collector…the piece (very slightly  truncated) is very much of its time (circa 1966). Politicians are no longer condemned for wearing the wrong clothes at parties.

The Worst Government for 100 years? by Anthony Lejeune.
Do you remember George Brown on television, flanked by leaders of industry and the trade unions, flourishing his fatuous Declaration of Intent? Do you remember the commentators solemnly telling us that this marked a watershed in the history of British industrial relations? And do you remember any of those commentators apologising to us since for having been taken in by so naive a piece of nonsense? I don't.

Do you remember the National Plan?
I got into trouble with the BBC for treating it, the week it was published, with the disrespect which it soon proved to deserve. I'm still waiting for an apology or even an admission that I was right.

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