That which I would enjoy most would be to be engaged in the act of sexual intercourse

My favorite recurring feature in the local newspaper is the Old Home Town, especially the excerpts from articles a hundred years ago. I love the history of my adopted community. I love the way yesteryear's struggles sometimes seem foreign and sometimes feel familiar and sometimes manage to be both at once. I love to think about what life was like back then. This is a time before women got the vote in America (but, I am proud to say, after women's suffrage succeeded in Kansas). The First World War had begun in Europe, but America remained neutral. The Temperance Movement hadn't yet foisted Prohibition upon the US, but was trying hard. Yet so much of the news was about harvests and Boy Scout hikes and pool halls and traffic problems.

I also love the language.

Today no one in their right mind ought to intentionally write in the style of a reporter in the second decade of the twentieth century. Parsing the dense prose to figure out what in the world was going on back in the day can make your head spin. This morning I learned that one hundred years ago the news of the day included this gem:

'A place for everybody to travel and every one traveling in his place,' is the motto of the city officials and they are making preparation to force every one to obey the traffic regulations in Lawrence. In the past there has been little attention paid to the traffic regulations of the city and people coming to Lawrence remark that there is surely a bunch of 'Jay' drivers in this town. Most of the motorists as well as the people who drive buggies and wagons do not acquaint themselves with the traffic regulations and consequently accidents occur.

That's a lot of words and an epic amount of passive voice to say, 'drivers around here haven't been following the rules and have been crashing.' The Hemingway Editor makes every single word of that excerpt a color that you don't want to see in your writing.

Unreadable as that excerpt may be, it's a wonderfully convoluted piece of prose. It's like texting our beloved 'that which I would enjoy most would be to be engaged with you in the act of sexual intercourse and I greatly desire that you would be agreeable to such an arrangement' instead of 'want to fuck?'

I suppose that we have always had bad drivers and wordy writers among us.