[Ads-l] Quote: I am that civilization you are fighting for. (April 20, 1914)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 10 16:42:22 UTC 2015

Back in April 2013 I posted to the list about the topic in the subject
line. After a brief delay of only two and a half years an entry is now
available on the QI website. List member Dan Nussbaum was

I Am the Civilization You Are Fighting For

Feedback welcome, Garson

On Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 8:30 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Nigel Rees mentioned an anecdote set during World War I in his newly
> released April 2013 "Quote . . . Unquote" Newsletter:
> [Begin excerpt]
> [On being asked why he was not fighting to defend civilization in the First
> World War]: 'Madam, I am the civilization they are fighting to defend' -
> Heathcote William Garrod (1878-1960). Attributed by Dacre Balsdon in Oxford
> Then and Now (1970). Garrod was a classical scholar and literary critic.
> Note how the line was incorporated in Hugh MacDiarmid’s poem 'At the
> Cenotaph' (1935): 'Keep going to your wars, you fools, as of yore; / I'm the
> civilisation you're fighting for.' Sometimes misascribed to Lytton Strachey.
> [End excerpt]

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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