Got the Sunday Times, which I don’t usually do, and in the Book Review letters section I saw a familiar name: David English, of Somerville, MA. I started noticing this guy when I was in grad school. He writes letters to the editor. A lot of letters to the editor. Google finds about 10 pages of hits for his letters to the Times, starting in 1993 and continuing at a steady clip through the present. He wrote to the New Yorker and New York Magazine, too. And I thought I remembered him showing up in the Globe letter column, too, but Google can’t find that.
Who is David English of Somerville, MA? And has he actually had more letters to the New York Times published than anyone else alive?
The names I see the most in the Times letters column are Les Dreyer (former orchestra violinist) and Felicia Nimue Ackerman (Professor at Brown).
I’m signing up to follow your writings
George Jochnowitz has had a large number of letters in the NYT also. (If I recall correctly, he is a relative of the mathematician Naomi Jochnowitz.) A NYT link on the google search for him turns up 44 references.
There was a recent profile of Ackerman claiming she is likely the leader in this category http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/all-the-letters-that-are-fit-to-print
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a public API for all letters to the editor in the NYT. This was the best I could find: http://developer.nytimes.com/docs, but the possible responses all seem to be fairly small.
I tried to search “David English of Somerville, MA” on Google but only showed results related to your post. It’s strange. Who is David English? I’m inquisitive about this too.
I am David English of Somerville, Massachusetts. My sister found this post and forwarded it to me. Anyone who wants to get in touch with me can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for noticing!!!
If letters to the Times is all David English of Somerville MA means to you, you’re missing out. The guy won probably dozens of word play contests that New York Magazine used to run.
I’ll bet there are a lot of people out there who recognize his name and wonder, just like you did, who he is. Wish he had a web site.
Hi, Andy. You have a good memory!! I did participate in the NEW YORK magazine contests obsessively, and I wish they still had them.
As to who I am, I’m still pondering that one. I do not have a web site, but I am on Facebook, And I have an entourage, like Frank Sinatra did. When he died, they were at leisure, so I hired them. They rough up anybody who gets in my way. It makes life a lot easier, but like most entourages, they are exceedingly needy at times.
Thanks for you kind comments!!
[…] never realized that David English of Somerville MA, besides being a prolific writer of letters to the editor, was a weirdo artist of the […]
David English is very cool. A smart person who takes the time to put down his thoughts. Ps. He’s also kind.
Thank you, Catherine!!!!
Never Enough English!
A letter in today’s NYTimes Book Review complains that witty letters from Renowned Private Intellectual David English are published all too often. I say pshaw to such jealousy! David English should be given his own column. Without Gertrude Stein, he is all we have.
Thank you, Professor Susan Brennan!!! I like the honorific “Renowned Private Intellectual”. I’m getting out my crafts box and fashioning myself a RPI badge, which ought to buy me entree to all manner of hy-tone think tanks and megacerebral conferences. It could also stand for Royalty Peerage Institute or Raspberry Puree Indigestion. Please accept my fondest wishes for a Happy Fourth of July, despite the fraught times in which we live!!!
Thanks, Professor Brennan!! Pshaw indeed. I like “Renowned Private Intellectual David English”. Maybe I’ll get out my crafts kit and make an RPI badge. Should give me some entree to fancy-schmancy places, think tanks and whatnot!!! I could also dress up like Gertrude Stein. That might be easier at my age than dressing up like Ann-Margret!!! I wish you a joyous (or as joyous as one can be at this fraught time) Fourth of July!!
Didn’t mean to send two versions of that!!!