Robert Burns

“Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.”

—Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar


Wednesday, Sept. 11. In this world we often make mistakes of judgment. We do not as a rule get out of them sound and whole, but sometimes we do. At dinner yesterday evening—present, a mixture of Scotch, English, American, Canadian, and Australasian folk—a discussion broke out about the pronunciation of certain Scottish words. This was private ground, and the non-Scotch nationalities, with one exception, discreetly kept still. But I am not discreet, and I took a hand. I didn’t know anything about the subject, but I took a hand just to have something to do. At that moment the word in dispute was the word three.

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