Here is another, rather jolly, example of the still very live conviction among the illiterate that it is more 'genteel' to use the nominative cases of pronouns when the grammar of a sentence does not permit it. It comes from Have His Carcase (1932):
"Miss Garland's carefully modulated tones escaped from control and became shrill. 'And I said ... so now you know where you get off. That's what I said, and it's a good thing there's a law in this country to protect girls like I'
"'Ain't she the snail's ankles?' asked Mr da Soto admiringly.".
There is so much of linguistic interest in Sayers. There is the movement of Wimsey's own speech from huntin'-an'-shootin' English in the earlier novels to the 'Oxford Academical' diction in Gaudy Night. There is a considerable difference between the Jeevesish speech of Bunter when he is speaking to the Quality, and the way he talks when he has been sent off to extract information below stairs.
And there are the regional dialects. Quite a bit of 'West Country' in Have His Carcase, the Fens get into the Nine Tailors, but there is page after page of Lowland Scots in Five Red Herrings. A lot of this evidence is now getting on for a century old. Doubtless, the regional dialects have changed in that time (for example, it seems to me that the glottal stop has become all-conquering). But I wonder if there are evidential controls enabling some sort of judgement to be made about whether, in their time, Sayers' accounts were accurate. Or perhaps she is herself the best evidence we have for how provincials really did speak between the Two Wars.
But I think she did have a very special interest in the speech habits and patterns of those whose social situations were ambiguous (such as the individuals named in the Pauline Epistles and analysed in 1983 by Wayne Meeks [The First Urban Christians, 1983], using the sociological tool of "Status Inconsistency").
Professor Higgins could have told us whether 'dagoes' really did use phrases like "Ain't she the snail's ankles". Or did Sayers invent it off, so to speak, her own bat?
I think it is perfectly brilliant and I shall incorporate it into my own private dialect.