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Literature / A Pickle for the Knowing Ones

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A Pickle for the Knowing Ones or Plain Truths in a Homespun Dress is an autobiographical book published in 1802. The author, Lord Timothy Dexter, was an eccentric American businessman who got rich by making a series of horrible business decisions that, due to luck, turned out to be extremely profitable. note 


The book has no punctuation and capitalization is seemingly random. To "fix" this, he placed a page of random punctuation at the beginning and instructed "The Nowing Ones" to "solt and pepper as they pleased." As for the content, it's basically the author ranting about various things that irritate him and displaying his poor knowledge of how politics work.

You can read it here.

This book provides examples of:

  • Amoral Attorney: Lawyers are mentioned in the same breath as priests and the Devil, with the insinuation that the world would be better off without them. Earlier in the book, the author claims to have been nearly beaten to death by a lawyer.
  • Anti-Intellectualism: In the form of discouraging people from going to college.
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: Reading this book is not recommended if you are a Grammar Nazi. You will most likely end up needing a gigantic can of Brain Bleach.
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  • Author Tract: A really weird example.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The author, so very much.
  • Corrupt Church: Despite clearly being religious, the author seems to have a very low opinion of the clergy.
  • Either/Or Title
  • The Good King: Apparently, the author aspires to be one of these (just replace the word "king" with "emperor").
  • Love Freak: The author talks about peace and love often enough to qualify for this trope.
    if I had not the gost in my hous, I would give Lite to my brothers & sisters, and have a pease all over the world, and beat the trouthe into my frinds. houe gud it is — houe onnest it would be — and houe mankind has bin in posed and houe thay have bin blinded by untrouths, gosts and mister Divels (Click here for translation) 
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  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: Practically every sentence!
  • Mind Screw: The book can certainly get this way at times. Particularly whenever the author starts philosophizing.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The author's birth is presented this way.
    I was born when grat powers Rouled — I was borne in 1747, Janeuarey 22; on this day, in the morning, A grat snow storme — the sines in the seventh house wives; mars Came fored — Joupeter stud by holding the Candel — I was to be one grat man; mars got the beth to be onnest man, to Doue good to my felow mortels. (Click here for translation) 
  • No Punctuation Period: The author responded to complaints about this by giving the second edition an extra page full of punctuation marks, with the suggestion that the readers "solt and peper it as they plese".
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The author's wife is referred to as a "gost"; this is because, by this point in Dexter's life, his relationship with his wife had soured so badly that he began to pretend she had died, introducing her to guests as "the ghost of my wife".
  • The Philosopher: The author thinks of himself this way.
  • The Philosopher King: ...and this is what he wants to be.
  • Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër: His idea on how to solve the No Punctuation Period problem.
  • Satan: Mentioned frequently.
  • Spear Counterpart: Timothy Dexter can be considered the eighteenth century equivalent of Tara Gilesbie, complete with the possibility that he may have actually been a brilliant Troll.
  • Starfish Language: The lack of punctuation combined with terrible spelling and grammar might make it appear to have been written in some sort of bizarre alien language with a passing resemblance to English.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: A possible example.
  • Word Salad Title


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