Punch,  33 (1857), 185.

The Battle of the Telegram: Or, Language in 1857



Poetry, Drollery


Telegraphy, Language, Controversy, Universities

    A response to the controversy in The Times over the etymological correctness of the word 'telegram'. Having discussed the classical literary traditions experienced by his son at 'Trin. Coll., Oxbridge' and by his son's friend at 'Wadham', he protests against the 'novel rhymes' in the poetry studied at these institutions, laments how 'pugilistic Oxford dares to cram / Poor sickening Cambridge with a Telegram', and imagines a fight between '"First-Class men" [...] Lost in a labyrinth of "graphs" and "grams"'. Concludes: 'Let poor erring "Telegram" be shriven, / And take the sanction that the Press has given'.

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