Celebrate Guy Fawkes Day – four days late


I got a kick out of Mike Goree’s comment to a previous post regarding Miss Elizabeth Miller, high school English teacher extraordinaire.  He referred to the Guy Fawkes debacle which I discovered is commemorated on June 23 each year in some circles.  For those of you deprived of exposure to Miss Elizabeth’s tutelage, let me enlighten you.

fawkes photo Fawkes belonged to a group of Roman Catholic restorationists who planned the Great Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Their aim was to displace protestant rule by blowing up the  Houses of Parliament in 1605 with King James and all the lawmakers inside.

Fawkes was in charge of executing the plan because of his military and explosives experience. Authorities foiled the plot shortly before its final execution, when they captured Fawkes as he guarded the gunpowder. He aroused suspicion by wearing a coat, boots, and spurs, as if he intended to leave quickly.

Fawkes left a lasting mark on history and popular culture. Bonfire Night, held in the United Kingdom (and some parts of the Commonwealth), commemorates Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. He has been featured in films, literature, and music, and several geographical locations have been named after him.

The habit of calling someone a “guy” originated with the doomed Mr. Fawkes as Miss Elizabeth reminded us – she never liked the term.  So now you know the rest of the story.

4 thoughts on “Celebrate Guy Fawkes Day – four days late

  1. Speaking of historical dates———–as a former history teacher I always remember that this date, June 28, is the day when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. That is of monumental importance as it brought on World War I. Of course, things moved so slowly in those days (1914)—–it was a month later before war was actually declared.

    So, you have received lots more info than you needed or wanted.

    Shirley D.

  2. I cringe everytime I hear someone on the NEWS use the term “dude” or “low-life”. And don’t even get me started on “who” and “whom”. I guess Miss Elizabeth is engrained in all of us….

  3. What about all the “professional” announcers/news people now who use the singular “is” following almost every plural subject? That’s the new one that drives me up a wall!! It’s bad enough when lay people do that, but now, it’s infected everyone, or so it seems.

    Hardly ever hear the subjunctive tense anymore, but yesterday, I heard it while getting a hair cut. The speaker was a charming, elderly Chinese lady. I’m just glad SOMEONE’S trying to preserve the language — what’s left of it!

    Thankfully, we don’t have to be all that careful on e-mails and blogs, but it may be increasing our bad habits in some other ways. Everything nowadays seems to be about speed, as time is money.

    I had some English teachers like the one you described — brought back some fond memories. Also, my grandmother was a career teacher who would kindly remind me of correct English, when I’d come out with the most recent playground jargon.

    Now, I probably make all kinds of errors that irritate others, but no one ever tells me when I do.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.