20 OCTOBER 1984, Page 23

`Gaily' not 'gay'

Sir: Dhiren Bhagat (Letters, 15 Septem- ber) cannot be serious. What he wants of the line:

To church a gallaunt jetted gaie

is grammatically impossible. The function of the word `gaie', we would now say `gaily', is that of an adverb modifying the verb 'jetted', meaning 'strutted'. Hence being neither noun nor adjective it cannot be that your correspondent is correct. It's more interesting to note that in Kendall's verse the priest is from Liverpool!

R. H. Hogg

School of English and History, Newcastle Polytechnic, Newcastle upon Tyne