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View Diary: Bookflurries: Bookchat: Mind Touching Mind (131 comments)

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  •  One of my favorites: (8+ / 0-)

    That was a good letter of Thomas Jefferson's which F.P.A. published in his column, in which Jefferson pointed out that there was nothing sacred about constitutions, and that they were only useful if changed frequently enough to fit the changing needs of the people.  Reverence for our Constitution is going to reach droll heights this year; yet the Constitution, far from being a sacred document, isn't even a grammatical one.  "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union..." has turned many a grammarian's stomach, perfection being a state which does not admit of degree.  A meticulous draughtsman would have written simply "in order to form a perfect union" - a thing our forefathers didn't dare predict, even for the sake of grammar.

       -E.B.White, The New Yorker, 2/8/36

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Jan 09, 2008 at 05:12:13 PM PST

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