Orthographic Mutineers  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Orthographic Mutineers" is the title of an essay by Thomas De Quincey. It is subtitled "with a special reference to the works of Walter Savage Landor." It is collected in The Art of Conversation and Other Papers (1863).


But luckilissime this proposalio of the absurdissimo Pinckertonio was not adoptado by anybody-ini whatever-ano
The vituperative antiquary John Pinkerton, writing under the name "Robert Heron," comes down hard on imitation and the Royal Academy: "imitations of the very verbiage and manner of Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, we see daily performed by writers of very slender talents; and such imitations I will venture to pronounce the easiest of literary labours, and in no respect more entitled to praise than copies of paintings"


As we are all of us crazy when the wind sits in some particular quarter, let not Mr. Landor be angry with me for suggesting that he is outrageously crazy upon the one solitary subject of spelling. It occurs to me, as a plausible solution of his fury upon this point, that perhaps in his earliest school-days, when it is understood that he was exceedingly pugnacious, he may have detested spelling, and (like Roberte the Devillel) have found it more satisfactory for all parties, that when the presumptuous schoolmaster differed from him on the spelling of a word, the question between them should be settled by a stand-up fight. Both parties would have the victory at times: and if, according to Pope's expression,'justice rul'd the ball,' the schoolmaster (who is always a villain) would be floored three times out of four; no great matter whether wrong or not upon the immediate point of spelling discussed. It is in this way, viz., from the irregular adjudications upon litigated spelling, which

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