Today's subject is a London book reviewer who, Mr. Clemens felt, prized proper grammar at the expense of clarity and style.
I suppose we all have our foibles. I like the exact word, and clarity of statement, and here and there a touch of good grammar for picturesqueness; but that reviewer cares for only the last-mentioned of these things. His grammar is foolishly correct, offensively precise. It flaunts itself in the reader's face all along, and struts and smirks and shows off, and is in a dozen ways irritating and disagreeable . . . I do not like that kind of persons. I never knew one of them that came to any good . . . I would never hesitate to injure that kind of man if I could.