Two links, one update

The Update

Karen emailed to say, “PT Barnum said ‘there’s a sucker born every minute,’ H.L. Mencken said the thing about underestimating the American public.” The quote I misattributed to Barnum is “No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public. It was in response to something in the Comments and I’d link back but–oh, hell, it’s in there somewhere. You don’t really care, do you? She went on to say, “Anyway, both quotes are applicable to the Trump situation.” She signed her email, “Karen, who just blogged that John Gardner wrote a book calledThe Art of the Novel, when it’s actually The Art of Fiction (and a reader helpfully pointed that out).”

I should’ve known better than to try to attribute that (or any other) quote. I can quote lots of people on lots of subjects but always get in trouble when I claim to know who said whatever I just quoted. When I worked as an editor, I must’ve seen “kill your darlings” attributed to five different writers, so I gather it’s not just my problem. The only one of the five I remember was T.S. Elliot, not because necessarily because he’s the one who actually said it but because I had a high school teacher who called him T.S. Undergarment, so his name kind of jumps out anytime I read or hear it.

Thanks, Karen.

The Links

1, Ice Badger sent a link that just has to break out of the comments section. Somewhere in it you’ll find Poldark on mopeds. And—well, I shouldn’ve spoil all the fun. The BBC will never be the same. Go take a look. Now.

2, If you want to hear a Cornish accent (and some of you clearly do), Beat Company sent a link to a recording. If you want to check out his blog, know that it’s is in both German and English. If you can’t manage the German (and no, I can’t either), keep looking and you’ll find something you can read.

I’m assuming that if you’re here you read English.

26 thoughts on “Two links, one update

  1. You’re much braver (and more honest!) than I–when a reader corrected me, I just edited my post and hoped no one else had noticed.

    I’m not a fan of that Mencken quote (why single out Americans as especially stupid? The entire globe is full of stupid people!) and I think the Barnum quote is way more appropriate vis a vis the Trump carnival anyway, which, mercifully, appears to be coming to an end. Reports of the Trump campaign’s demise have been greatly exaggerated before, so we shall see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a writer and (now retired) editor, I’m used to making a fool of myself publicly and in print–and that’s back when print was indelible. So I learned to clean up after myself the same way. And what the hell, if I can’t laugh at myself I’m going to miss a lot of the humor in my life. I appreciate you catching me on that–and giving me the choice of whether or not to say anything publicly. And apologies for not linking back to you. I guess because you contacted me by email I wasn’t sure you’d want me to.

      As for Mencken, I think he singled out Americans simply because that’s where he was and that’s what he wrote about. Although maybe there’s more to it than that. I confess, I don’t know a lot about him.


  2. I once wrote a whole post based on the quote often attributed to Charles Duell (1899) about everything that could be invented had been invented. After writing the whole thing, I thought to look up the quote for some more info. It turned out not to be true that he said it. Two hours of writing deleted.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A pedant comments. It’s T. S. Eliot not Elliot. Does this matter? Well, someone once told me (those ominous words always used to introduce a falsehood) that the man in question was upset that his name was an anagram of toilets. I don’t believe it, as (in-joke for Brits) Victor Meldrew might have said.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for catching that. It does matter and it all goes to prove that you can’t proofread your own writing, but I could at least have tried–which I didn’t, at least not to the extent of checking the spelling of his name. The anagram should work as a handy reminder.


  4. Pingback: Important stories from the British press | Notes from the U.K.

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