I'm reading Dorothy L. Sayers' Murder Must Advertise. It is delightful, but what I would like to draw your attention towards is her inadvertently hilarious use of baby-talk. She's trying to replicate the accents of a British toddler who is discussing (with his uncle) the prospect of having a toy boat in his bath. Observe.

"Listen, would you like a speed-boat?"
"What's peed-boat?"
"A boat that will run in the water [...]."
"Will it float in my barf?"
"Yes, of course. [...]"
"Could I have it in my barf wiv' me?"
"Certainly, if Mummy says so."
"I'd like a boat in my barf."
"You shall have one, old man."

The OED tells me that "barf" did not come into use until 1966, and this book was written in 1933, so this was merely a fortuitous accident.

I am loving this book, for that and many other reasons. I will probably have it in my barf with me tonight.


ok. i have to say that before the SFPL book sale i'd never heard of dorothy sayers or lord peter wimsey. but since you bought those books and started writing about them, i have been seeing their names all over! and by all over i mean on 2 separate websites. still! that's a lot for something sooo not current and in a few weeks. my last sighting was on the blog of kristin cashore (author of 'graceling' and 'fire' which i just re-read and read, respectively). delightfully she also has a margaret mahy quote on her website. i think we could be best friends with her. and then maybe i could read 'bitterblue' before it's published...

Fascinating. I will have to look into her.

Huh, and also, apparently: "Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife, has claimed in interviews that her main characters, Henry and Clare, are loosely based on Sayers' Peter and Harriet." (According to the Wiki on Sayers.)