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Lord Lucan: ‘missing’ or ‘on the run’?: Lexical choices and social class in British English

  • Brian Poole

Extract

In November 1974 a murder took place which, both at the time and in retrospect, provided British journalists with material for countless articles. Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan (generally referred to as ‘Lord Lucan’) apparently killed his children's nanny with a blunt instrument, attacked his wife, and then fled his Belgravia home. His whereabouts since then, and even (despite the fact that he was declared dead in the High Court in 1999) the question of whether or not he is still alive, continue to be a matter of sporadic discussion in the media and among the general public. As British National Corpus (BNC) evidence shows, Lord Lucan is now sometimes lumped together in the conversation and writings of the British with other creatures and objects whose existence is the stuff of legend rather than of scientific certainty:

1GX9 4072 Forget the Loch Ness Monster and Lord Lucan, the Yeti and the Holy Grail.

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References

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Lord Lucan: ‘missing’ or ‘on the run’?: Lexical choices and social class in British English

  • Brian Poole

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