A publication of the Department of English & Philosophy at Drexel University

Authority and American Usage

Today was a day I have been waiting for all term. We finally got to discuss one of my favorite pieces of all time, David Foster Wallace’s Authority and American Usage in my Writ-210 course. I’ve been almost obnoxious in how eager I’ve been for this moment, bringing it up at least once a week, asking how much longer until week 8 much like a child asking if we were there yet on a long road trip.

I love this piece, and even through my many readings of it, I’ve never had a chance to discuss it with other people. I believe it’s DFW at his finest, drawing the reader into the piece, while talking about, of all things, an American usage guide, something the average person will never read. It was fascinating to see the many ways the piece was read, and how even when my classmates hated the piece, they couldn’t help but acknowledge the accuracy of his rhetoric.

I’d love to talk to you too about this essay. I’ll see you in the comments.

Michael Rodino is a junior Music Industry major at Drexel University with a minor in english and business administration. Michael is also the label manager of Mad Dragon Records, the school's record label and a local music blogger. Michael likes alliteration, and regrettably cannot come up with a good one at this point in time.




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