Larry I have Mencken's American Language on my book shelf too, isn't it the greatest.
Yes! He had the original version and then apparently did an abridged, updated version(s) as well. Do you have Devil's Dictionary? Funny little book. Bierce, I think.
Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary
is available on the internet. I have it among My Favorites, since I lost my paperback copy some years ago.
Thanks m.a.! From the internet to Word Pad in 30 seconds.
I think I might start an Ambrose Bierce Word of the Day thread.
POLITICIAN, n. An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the
superstructure of organized society is reared. When he wriggles he
mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice.
As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being
MILLENNIUM, n. The period of a thousand years when the lid is to be screwed down, with all reformers on the under side.
OPTIMISM, n. The doctrine, or belief, that everything is beautiful,
including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and
everything right that is wrong. It is held with greatest tenacity by
those most accustomed to the mischance of falling into adversity, and
is most acceptably expounded with the grin that apes a smile. Being a
blind faith, it is inaccessible to the light of disproof -- an
intellectual disorder, yielding to no treatment but death. It is
hereditary, but fortunately not contagious.
MAD, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence;
not conforming to standards of thought, speech and action derived by
the conformants from study of themselves; at odds with the majority;
in short, unusual. It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad
by officials destitute of evidence that themselves are sane. For
illustration, this present (and illustrious) lexicographer is no
firmer in the faith of his own sanity than is any inmate of any
madhouse in the land; yet for aught he knows to the contrary, instead
of the lofty occupation that seems to him to be engaging his powers he
may really be beating his hands against the window bars of an asylum
and declaring himself Noah Webster, to the innocent delight of many
I don't understand why my cutting and pasting from another source results in the unformatted mess above. If anyone knows a cure, tell me.
You have to copy the text you want in the web site to word or note pad, clear format then copy to A2k reply box.
The H.L.Mencken, American Language - An Inquiry Into The Development of Englis In The United States is the 4th edition, 1937. Just love the University Women's book sales, library book sales, and used book stores.
I usually copy it to Word Pad, but what do you mean by "clear format?"
Joanne, I've mentioned 84 Charing Cross Road on a couple of other threads - have you ever read it?
Go into edit on the menu bar, select all, then clear format. Then you still may need to do some editing.
No I have not read 84 Charring Cross but checked it out on the net a new place to spend my money. Why don't you add that link in the topic Reference & Research Links thread. I could do it but since you search the web a lot why don't you take a look at what is already there and add any you think people can use. It would be a much appreciated addition. You are free to post good links there any time. All A2k users are.
Its a 30 minute to one hour read, but touching, especially for Anglophiles and book lovers. Its my favorite book.
Which link did you mean? Devil's Dictionary?
84 charing cross road-didn't they make that into a movie?
One of my favorite movies too - with Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins.
i remember that movie. i usually don't go for that "type" of movie but i did like it.
Anglophilia and bibliophilism are my greatest afflictions - combine them in one book or movie and it'll be a sure-fire success with me.
I prefer online version of the Columbia encyclopedia on the site of Bartleby
. Unlike Britannica on-line, it is free (at least, meanwhile).
Thats a great site, with a good collection of online literature as well, fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.
I forgot that Mencken's Language is there.
The American Language
Thank you for that Mencken link. It's in my favorites now.
our hearts were young and gay