H. L. Mencken

H. L. Mencken

Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956) was an American journalist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century.

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The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.

A man may be a fool and not know it but not if he is married.

Morality is the theory that every human act must be either right or wrong and that 99 % of them are wrong.

There is always an easy solution to every problem - neat plausible and wrong.

Marriage is a wonderful institution but who would want to live in an institution?

Platitude: an idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone and (b) that is not true.

Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time.

Judge: a law student who marks his own examination-papers.

As the arteries grow hard the heart grows soft.

Temptation is a woman's weapon and man's excuse.

Wealth - any income that is at least one hundred dollars more a year than the income of one's wife's sister's husband.

I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.

I confess I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic and hence incomparably amusing.

The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.

Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.

A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable.

A prohibitionist is the sort of man one couldn't care to drink with even if he drank.

The only cure for contempt is counter-contempt.

We must respect the other fellow's religion but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.

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