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A 1917 Letter: Dear Winston Churchill: OMG!

We at AbeBooks do so love a good literary letter. This 1917 example to Winston Churchill, written a year before the end of WWI, includes an early usage of “OMG”. It also includes a lot of exclamation marks. Lord Fisher (I assume naval fleet Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher) was an enthusiastic writer, also seemingly randomly (unless there is a secret code that my civilian brain cannot begin to guess at) assigning capitalization to various words.

It also includes lines from the Pope poem ‘Eloisa to Abelard’, published 200 years before the writing of this letter.


I AM here for a few days longer before rejoining my “Wise men” at Victory House –

“The World forgetting,
By the World forgot!”

but some Headlines in the newspapers have utterly upset me! Terrible!!
“The Germal Fleet to assist the Land operations in the Baltic.”
“Landing the German Army South of Reval.”
We are five times stronger at Sea than our enemies and here is a small Fleet that we could gobble up in a few minutes playing the great vital SDea part of landing an Army in the enemies’ rear and probably capturing the Russian Capital by Sea!
The is “Holding the ring” with a vengeance!
Are we really incapable of a big Enterprise?
I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis – O.M.G. (Oh! My God!) – Shower it on the Admiralty!!


There you have it, ladies and gentlemen – we are perhaps witness to the early origins of LOLspeak. OMG!

…from the always magical Letters of Note, of course.

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