Tuesday, June 30, 2015


H. L. Mencken:

In the American colleges and high-schools there is no faculty so weak as the English faculty. It is the common catch-all for aspirants to the birch who are too lazy or too feeble in intelligence to acquire any sort of exact knowledge, and the professional incompetence of its typical ornament is matched only by his hollow cocksureness.

H. L. Mencken, The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States, 4th ed. (New York: Alred A. Knopf, 1936).
Also from The American Language
The American v. the Englishman
“There are words enough already”

comments: 3

The Crow said...

Was Mencken a humorist?

Chris said...

"Aspirants to the birch"?

Michael Leddy said...

@The Crow: often.

@Chris: not a typo. Yes, wanting to flog children.