Henry Alford in his A Plea for the Queen's English: Stray Notes on Speaking and Spelling:
This 19th century Dean of Canterbury has always amused me. I was hoping he would give some examples, but he does not.
—Ceci n'est pas un seing.
Good grief. I've seen similar polemics against American 'debasement' of the language, but nothing quite so silly as that. The war I assume is the American civil war, which was, of course, horrific. I wonder, though, if he knew that our own English civil war, a couple of centuries earlier, was responsible for the death and injury of a greater proportion of the population of the country than in America?
Nowadays the reactionaries tend to blame the 'decline' of the language on the young; he and some of his peers appear to pin the blame on Americans. Heigh-ho.
I skimmed through some of the book and it seems to be a typical peevologist's rant of the times. Many of his complaints now seem odd, even to the Lynne Trusses of today. Others, such as his fear of the "u" being dropped in words like honour, following the American practice, never happened in the rest of the English-speaking world.
I am strongly reminded of Ambrose Bierce's Write It Right, which contains a similar collection of nonsense. He also subscribes to the etymological fallacy referred to elsewhere.
Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.