Kids Say the Darndest Things, Part 2

I found this story on Futility Closet's blog here. I've done one of these posts before, which can be found here. The original source for these quotations are all taken from Mark Twain's English as She Is Taught: Being Genuine Answers to Examination Questions in Our Public Schools (1887).

-“Lord Byron was the son of an heiress and a drunken man.” [Not wrong, I suppose.]

-“Gibbon wrote a history of his travels in Italy. This was original.” [In case you don't know, Gibbon wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Sincerely doubt this was a first-hand experience on his vacation to Italy.]

-“George Eliot left a wife and children who mourned greatly for his genius.” [You might want to reassess that pronoun.]

-“George Eliot Miss Mary Evans Mrs. Cross Mrs. Lewis was the greatest female poet unless George Sands is made an exception of.”

-“Sir Walter Scott Charles Bronte Alfred the Great and Johnson were the first great novelists.” [Alfred the Great. Burning cakes, repelling the Vikings, and writing books since 849.]

-“Thomas Babington Makorlay graduated at Harvard and then studied law, he was raised to the peerage as baron in 1557 and died in 1776.” [And was probably glad to be dead after almost 300 years of life, I suspect.]

-“Homer’s writings are Homer’s Essays Virgil the Aenid and Paradise lost some people say that these poems were not written by Homer but by another man of the same name.” [Guys. Virgil's The Aeneid has the author's name in the damn title.]

-“A sort of sadness kind of shone in Bryant’s poems.” [I'm horrified how many of my university-level students still write this stuff. 'The poems of Poe are sort of, like, kind of creepy', etc.]

-“Holmes is a very profligate and amusing writer.” [I assume they are referring to Edmond Holmes, and not Sherlock Holmes, who only first appeared in print the year this book came out. This is hilarious, because Edmond Holmes would eventually write a number of books on religious matters.]

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One Response to Kids Say the Darndest Things, Part 2

  1. asher63 says:

    Ha! This is entertaining and refreshing. It’s good to know our generation isn’t the only one lamenting the declining state of education.


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