Yesterday we learned that real men don’t write postscripts, and that “the apogee of superficiality” is to scribble a PS on the outside of an already-sealed envelope. Clearly this is something only a girly like “Case 11” would do. According to W L George, any man exhibiting such behaviour must be a mincing unmanly fop with an interest in the arts.

But wait! His thesis is comprehensively demolished when we consider this passage from Richard Holmes’s The Age Of Wonder, in an account of Mungo Park’s second African expedition:

The atmosphere among the surviving members of the expedition is caught in a letter which the cheery, hardbitten Captain John Martyn wrote… Finally he added a scrawled note on the stained outer flap of his letter, dated 4 November. It captures a soldier’s-eye view of the British imperial mission. “PS Dr Anderson and Mills dead since writing the within – my head a little sore this morning – was up late last night drinking Ale with a Moor who has been at Gibraltar and speaks English – got a little tipsy – finished the scene by giving the Moor a damn’d good thrashing.”

[My italics.] Now, does hardbitten Captain Martyn sound like an effeminate prancing ninny? I think not. This whole matter of girly postscripts evidently requires further study.

4 thoughts on “P.P.S.

  1. ‘A damned good thrashing’ eh?

    brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to…Percy Grainger

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