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The Gentlemanly Art of the Insult

One of the (many) signs of our cultural decline is that verbal insults, these days, are almost invariably scatological or sexual, provoking a blizzard of asterisks whenever A wants to put the smackdown on B. Once upon a time, it was not so.

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Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies

"Like any other life-sustaining resource," says Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, "language can be depleted, polluted, contaminated, eroded, and filled with artificial stimulants." Today more than ever, language needs to be rescued and restored.

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Brad Miner on The Compleat Gentleman

The notion of the gentleman has been out of fashion for some time, especially because of its connection to boorish, Victorian-era stoicism. However, Brad Miner believes that the example of the gentleman is ripe for recovery, and far from being a stick-in-the-mud, the "complete" gentleman is a passionate warrior, lover and monk.

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The Twelve Men

The other day, while I was meditating on morality and Mr. H. Pitt, I was, so to speak, snatched up and put into a jury box to try people. The snatching took some weeks, but to me it seemed something sudden and arbitrary. I was put into this box because I lived in Battersea, and my name began with a C.

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