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From The Theory of the Leisure C...

Posted Sep 12 2008 1:09pm

From The Theory of the Leisure Class:

As felicitous an instance of futile classicism as can well be found . . . is the conventional spelling of the English language. A breach of the proprieties in spelling is extremely annoying and will discredit any writer in the eyes of all persons who are possessed of a developed sense of the true and beautiful. English orthography satisfies all the requirements of the canons of reputability under the law of conspicuous waste. It is archaic, cumbrous, and ineffective; its acquisition consumes much time and effort; failure to acquire it is easy of detection. Therefore it is the first and readiest test of reputability in learning, and conformity to its ritual is indispensable to a blameless scholastic life.

Much of my first year in college I spent reading Veblen. It seemed fresh and smart then; it seems fresh and smart now.

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