nonU often attributed to Nancy Mitford, the terms U (upperclass) and nonU were first coined by the British linguist Alan Ross in his 1954 paper Linguistic classindicators in presentday English.
The English author Nancy Mitford was alerted and immediately took up the usage in an essay, " The English Aristocracy"which Stephen Spender published in his magazine Encounter in 1954. Evelyn Waugh wrote a rebuttal essay that was published in Noblesse Oblige: a book containing Mitfords essay, the original article by Ross, Waughs rebuttal, and other related essays. Waugh argues that these U and NonU differences dont actually exist as language is constantly in a state of flux and is also regional and family specific.
The book includes Mitford's essay" The English Aristocracy"first published in Encounter, September 1955; Collections of letters. Mosley, Charlotte (ed. ) (1993). Love from Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford. London: Hodder& Stoughton. ISBN. Mosley, Charlotte (ed. ) (1996). Humor is a thread that runs through all of Mitfords fiction. She was untrained and largely uneducated, apart from learning to write and speak French as a girl, but she nevertheless had a confidence that animated her writing with a voice that rang true.
Three Mitford sisters in the early thirties. Nancy Mitford (right) pinched 'U and nonU' pronunciation from Professor Ross, author of 'How to Pronounce It Talking proper: the language of U and NonU. These terms were subsequently popularized by the writer and socialite Nancy Mitford, The opinions and other information contained in OxfordWords blog posts and comments do not Nancy mitford essay u speak reflect the opinions or positions of Oxford University Press.
Nancy Mitford became notorious in 1954 for a semisatirical essay she wrote about U and NonU pronunciation, the U standing for upper class. (She didnt coin the term U, but she did make it ubiquitous.