Tags » H. L. Mencken

The state—or, to make the matter more concrete, the government—consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.

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A Pointillist Theology

A high school religion teacher once remarked to me that the only proof of God’s existence that she needed was to look out the window. “How could anybody look upon the wonder of creation,” she wondered incredulously, “and not believe in God?” I was not convinced. 354 more words

American Beer


The word bibliobibuli was coined in 1957 by American journalist and author H.L. Mencken.

From the Greek “biblio”, meaning books, and the Latin “bibulous”, from “bibere” (to drink). 8 more words

Hand Lettering


The term was coined in 1957 by journalist and writer H.L. Mencken.

From the Greek “biblio”, meaning books, and the Latin “bibulous”, from “bibere” (to drink). 8 more words


Poor Judgment, Nasty Metaphors, and Intolerance

Let’s consider “visa” and “vis-a-vis.” According to the Inline Etymology Dictionary, the word “visa” comes from the Latin “charta visa,” which literally means “paper that has been seen.” Many thousands of people from Africa and the Middle East stranded in Hungary sure wish they had one. 673 more words

Public Libraries

Measure Of All Things

Last week’s question included an uncited quotation from H. L. Mencken’s Notes on Democracy. Mencken mocked “Rousseau’s noble savage, in smock and jerkin, brought out of the tropical wilds to shame the lords and masters of the civilized lands.” How silly it seems to attribute such modern notions to man in a “state of nature.” (To be fair to Rousseau, he did not describe his “noble savage” as wearing anachronistic clothing, but his behavior and very nature were anachronistic.) 315 more words

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