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#1299: Willa Cather to Carlton F. Wells, February 27, 1936

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My dear Mr. Wells1:

Yes3, I certainly dislike the new code of manners which tries to get an advertising value out of everything, and to convert every simple human feeling into a blurb of some kind. But just because manners are as they are, I think all of us who have the slightest feeling for the English language should stand out against this vulgar publicity racket. There simply never can be any discriminating use of language in a society where there are not delicate distinctions in manners.

I think you were quite right in your half expressed suggestion that I made a mistake in allowing a certain letter4 to Governor Cross5 to be published. Henry Canby6 is an old friend of mine, and because I have so often promised him articles and never written them, I yielded to his persuasion. As I recall the letter, it was not very personal in tone and was an answer to some published statements7 by Governor Cross. It was not at all, I think, informal in its tone. However, I am perfectly assured of your good intentions and thank you for your courteous letter.

Cordially yours, Willa Cather