The Leaning Tower of Babel

by Richard Mitchell. Little, Brown, $14.95. Mr. Mitchell, alias the Underground Grammarian, continues his assault on uneducated educators, and his individual chapters are acid, amusing analyses of bad grammar, sloppy thinking, and meaningless jargon. The collection as a whole is depressing, for the examples of nit-wittery that Mr. Mitchell has assembled make it impossible to doubt his assertion that our schools are generally run by people who “are poorly educated and often not very bright to begin with. ...” He concedes, however, that the public-education system is a success in terms of its own private purpose, which is “to serve as a massive tax-supported jobs program for legions of not especially able or talented people. . . . Do we want them out of the schools and onto the dole? In fact, the system is perfect, except for one little detail. We must find a way to get the children out of it.”