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Cunningham Unabashed at Being Cast as Guinea Pig in English A


Unacknowledged by the Corporation and unknown to himself, Bill Cunningham, Boston's oracular columnist, has become a stern tutor of journalese to two sections of English A students. Immersion in Cunningham's daily articles was prescribed by James a. Walker, instructor in English, who characterized the Boston scribe tersely as "a good mine of irresponsible logical development."

The recipient of this damning praise described himself last night as "greatly flattered and not a little terrified" when informed of his unwitting role as a mentor of English, and went on to reminisce of his own Freshman days at Dartmouth.

Was Young Once Himself

"My own first memory of college," Cunningham mused, "was such a course taught by a Harvard man named Professor Stearns. My first assignment was to write a description of our rooms. I had the great honor and distinction of having my little offering cited by him as an example of the type of thing he was hoping to get, largely because I used the word 'smite,' as in the phrase 'something smites the eye'."

Students in the course were asked to appraise Cunningham's articles, starting with that of April 24th, and to analyze them for contents; "Inaccuracies, deliberate and conscious, unfounded assumptions, circular arguments and non-sequiturs, and for emotional language intended to obscure the issue," and then for style; in "Jargon, bombast, 'fine writing' and wordiness."

Patently no admirer of Cunningham, Walker reported several of his class balked at the assignment and demurred at the "cruel and inhuman torture" of being required to peruse the column daily. He confidently expects in universally condemnatory analysis from his students, and when queried as to the possibility that some heedless student might report Cunningham pleasant reading, muttered eminously, "It will have to be a better reason than I can think of."

The arch-scribe of Boston journalistic circles did not appear to feel his laurels unduly jeopardized and benignly gave his blessing to his newly acquired if unwilling audience.

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