Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Mencken on American …

 The Music of the Grand American Show. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Mencken claimed to be a bit of a fraud himself when The American Language became a commercial publishing success, for he had no formal training either as a philologist or in linguistic science. In fact, he never went to college. As he wrote in the preface to Newspaper Days: “At a time when the respectable bourgeois youngsters of my generation were college freshman, oppressed by simian sophomores and affronted with balderdash daily by chalky pedagogues, I was at large in a wicked seaport of half a million people, with a front seat at every public show, as free of the night as of the day, and getting earfuls and eyefuls of instruction in a hundred giddy arcana, none of them taught in schools.”

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