The Nation: More Agreeabler Than Most

Jefferson's mistress, Kennedy's indiscretions, Nixon's contempt for the law—is there no end to the exposes about the failings of U.S. Presidents? Apparently not, for now we hear that George Washington was absolutely awful at spelling, grammar and punctuation. Some samples from his writing: "I passed the time . . . much more agree-abler than what I imagined I should" and "went ahunting . . . and catched a fox." Among his misspellings: expedate, ingaged, turkie, burrying and bairskin.

Grammarians Louis G. Heller of New York's City College and James Macris of Clark University...

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