Tasha at Corner of Confessions provided today’s Just Jot It January prompt, “honorable,” or if you prefer, “honourable.” I could think of no better example of this than The Honorable Richard J. Daley, mayor of Chicago from 1955 until he died in 1976.
Hizzoner, as he was known to one and all, had an unusual relationship with the English language. First, he spoke in the dialect best known as “South Side Irish” (“Hi dere, how are ya?”). In said dialect, his full name and title would be “De Honorable Richard J. Daley, da mayor of da great city of Chicagah.” Kind of like George Wendt in his Chuck Swirsky character (“Da Bears”), only less understandable. For another, he would often come out with unintentionally funny statements, such as “the policeman isn’t there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder,” “we are proud to have with us the poet lariat of Chicago,” “we shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achivement,” and “they have vilified me, they have crucified me, yes, they have even criticized me.” Milton Rakove, a former professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (which Mayor Daley tore down a good portion of the Taylor Street Italian neighborhood to build), author of two books about Hizzoner, quoted him as having said “Ladies and gentlemen of the League of Women Voters” at the start of a speech to that organization.
Daley was too complex a character to try and explain in a brief (more or less) blog entry, so I encourage you to learn about him by reading one of the books about him. He was an interesting person, to be sure.
Just Jot It January is sponsored by Linda Hill.