The Corner

Assinine

A subscription offer for Poetry magazine showed up in the mail yesterday. The outside of the envelope carried a big quote: “New editor, new life, new kickassery.” A card on the inside repeated the quote. I’m all for useful and clever neologisms, but would you subscribe to a magazine about poetry that thinks “kickassery” is its great virtue?

“O that he were here to write me down an ass! but, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass.” That’s Shakespeare, who had the good sense to write this line in prose.

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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