In 1927, Charlie Chaplin and his young wife, Lita Grey Chaplin, were as famous as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are today; and when they divorced, Lita dished to the press about Charlie’s horrible…grammar! Yes, his grammar.
In tabloid tones, the San Jose Evening News duly recounted dueling stories of just how dumb the divorcing partners could make each other look.
After a scandalous three-year marriage to Lita Grey Chaplin (she was underage and pregnant when they wed), Charlie Chaplin told the world that his bride was “not intellectually satisfying.” In return, the spurned Lita told the San Jose Evening News that the two had tried to learn Latin and French together, but couldn’t because Charlie had such a poor grasp of grammar.
The writer Dan Tomas reported that “Charlie Chaplin may have been a pretty fair actor according to the girl-wife, now living alone with her babies in the Chaplin mansion in Beverly Hills, but oh boy, what he didn’t know about the relative pronoun!”
Isn’t that a hoot? You can read the whole article in the March 3, 1927 San Jose Evening News, which I found through the Google News Archive.