Bonus points if you recognised the title as a Rudyard Kipling quote straight away – you know your stuff!
Kipling is well accepted as a literary hero, his Just So stories and The Jungle Book being staples of everyone’s childhoods – I read The Jungle Book with my two last year.
I won’t lie, his writing is not the easiest to read out loud – there was a lot of me falling over the word order during our Jungle Book sessions – but it has a lyrical sort of quality and once you get into the swing of it, it’s not a problem. (Well, okay, I did have to stop quite often to ‘translate’ bits for the kids but I’m not sure that was the writing style so much as the older language.)
However, back in 1889, the editor of the San Francisco Examiner refused to publish Rudyard Kipling’s work.
And he didn’t refuse subtly either…
‘I’m sorry Mr Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language. This isn’t a kindergarten for ameteur writers.’
But probably not as ouch as hearing that Kipling had won the Nobel Prize for Literature a mere eight years later.
Here are five more Kipling quotes, displaying his lack of English knowledge!!
Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.
If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.
All the people like us are We, and everyone else is They.
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
If you can keep your wits about you while all others are losing theirs, and blaming you, the world will be yours and everything in it. What’s more, you’ll be a man, my son.
Do you have a favourite Kipling quote or story?