Saturday, January 21, 2017

Get the original …

 Parsing the Weightiness of Words - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
A Dictionary of Modern English Usage is suffused with the personality and idiosyncrasies of its author, more so perhaps than even Samuel Johnson’s famous Dictionary. Fowler had a taste for risky but amusing generalizations. In his entry on “Didacticism,” for example, he remarks that “men are as much possessed by the didactic impulse as women by the maternal instinct.” By way of usage, he also taught good manners. His entry “French Words” begins: “Display of superior knowledge is as great a vulgarity as display of superior wealth—greater, indeed, inasmuch as knowledge should tend more definitely than wealth towards discretion and good manners.”

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