[Ads-l] David Foster Wallace

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Fri Aug 14 10:25:13 UTC 2015


I'm loath to apply superlatives, but he's up there.

His review of the first edition of Garner's Modern American Usage, titled "Authority and American Usage," is positively Orwellian in how he conflates the dictates of an autocrat with the "democratic spirit" and his description of how you can make authoritarianism palatable simply by clothing it in the right rhetorical tones. (Although, I wonder if his review isn't an example of Poe's Law and if he's really dissing Garner.)



-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Wilson Gray
Sent: Friday, August 14, 2015 12:38 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: David Foster Wallace

Is/Was? he the greatest prescriptivist of the English language?

--
-Wilson
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All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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