It was ever thus

February 14, 2014|By John E. McIntyre | The Baltimore Sun

The indefatigable David Marsh, editor and author of For Who the Bell Tolls: One Man's Quest for Grammatical Perfection, demolishes in a brief article in the Guardian the Trussites and all others who carry on about our degenerate and illiterate age. 

"Conservatives long for a golden age, usually about 50 years in the past, when everyone knew their grammar and all was right with the world," he says. But the evidence is to the contrary. 

The key piece of evidence, which you may wish to embroider on a sampler, is this: "What is more, even Grammar, the basis of all education, baffles the brains of the younger generation today. ... There is not a single modern schoolboy who can compose verses or write a decent letter." 

The author is William Langland (1332-1386). 

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