Tag Archives: critics

26 – Eunuch of language

As long as you are a spectator, a well judged tongue lashing can be a thing of beauty, especially if someone getting a deserved comeuppance.

Following on from our Burns Night whisky we ought to celebrate the man himself excoriating a reviewer who criticised his poetry for obscure language and imperfect grammar. (Source: lettersofnote.com)

Thou eunuch of language;
thou Englishman, who never was south the Tweed;
thou servile echo of fashionable barbarisms;
thou quack, vending the nostrums of empirical elocution;
thou marriage-maker between vowels and consonants, on the Gretna-green of caprice;
thou cobler, botching the flimsy socks of bombast oratory;
thou blacksmith, hammering the rivets of absurdity;
thou butcher, embruing thy hands in the bowels of orthography;
thou arch-heretic in pronunciation;
thou pitch-pipe of affected emphasis; thou carpenter, mortising the awkward joints of jarring sentences;
thou squeaking dissonance of cadence; thou pimp of gender;
thou Lyon Herald to silly etymology; thou antipode of grammar; thou executioner of construction;
thou brood of the speech-distracting builders of the Tower of Babel;
thou lingual confusion worse confounded; thou scape-gallows from the land of syntax; thou scavenger of mood and tense;
thou murderous accoucheur of infant learning;
thou ignis fatuus, misleading the steps of benighted ignorance; thou pickle-herring in the puppet-show of nonsense;
thou faithful recorder of barbarous idiom; thou persecutor of syllabication;
thou baleful meteor, foretelling and facilitating the rapid approach of Nox and Erebus.

I particularly like “hammering the rivets of absurdity” I think I am going to adopt that as a job description