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The two kinds of people

Robert Benchley once wrote that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who believe that there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who do not.

Jim Svejda, a colleague in graduate school divided people into bunchers and folders. Jonathan Swift suggested that we could be either fools or knaves. There are creationists and evolutionists, early risers and night owls, Whigs and Tories, Guelphs and Ghibelenes, the quick and the dead.

Today is my birthday, and, feeling, frivolous, I’m inviting you to comment by adding to the categories of the two classes of people. I’ve given you a start; now you’re on your own.



Posted by John McIntyre at 10:50 AM | | Comments (34)


I'm sorry this isn't original, but it's the first thing that came to mind.

There are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary arithmetic, and those who don't.

There are those who belive in love at first sight and those who do not.
Happy birthday and best wishes,


There are two kinds of people in the world: men and women.

Oh, and before I forget: bonne anniversaire, mon chèr. You share a birthday with some interesting folk:


People who agree with me and idiots...

Wrong...there are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who can't.

Happy Birthday. Those who think birthdays get less important the older you get, and over-fifties.

My geography professor in college taught us that there were two kinds of geographers: Lumpers and Splitters.

Come on people, how hard is it to say Happy Birthday? Even if you're just a lurker it's not that difficult. Ask Laura Lee, she use to be on, and now she even declares her love for me.

We should hit a hundred and Bucky can start his Centennial Club, like over at D@L.

Happy Birthday.

From the poll taken in my neck of the woods:
-Montegues & Capulets
-those who get it & those who don't
-Mac's & PC's
- Northerners & Southerners (all countries)
- those who believe & those who behave
- those who dance & those who march
- nice & mean
- teachers & students
- those who give care & those who take care
- peace makers & peace keepers

Happy Birthday, John!

My 5th grade teacher, Miss Mulhern, told us there were two kinds of students in her class: Smarties and Stupidies. And, no, I won't say how I was classified.

Happy birthday, Professor.
If you're like me, and I know I am, you're unique, just like everybody else.

Happy, happy birthday!

The world is divided -- unevenly, I sometimes feel -- between people who are determined to take offense and people who aren't.

And yes, usage peevologists are a subset of the first category.

Happy birthday, John. What kind of Aquarian are you if you don't find anything interesting in dreams?
Maybe there are people who know how to tell them and people who don't.

For me it's people I can count on and those I can't !!!!!

In my theatrically embittered youth, I used to say there were two kinds of men: unavailable and undesirable.

Those who can tolerate topic drift and those who can't.

Black-and-whites and shades-of-grays.

Many happy returns!

Those who demand simple answers and those who accept the complexity of complex things.

I thought of another one (jl, you will want to pay attention here)...there are two kinds of motorcycle riders: those who have crashed and those that are going to.

Cephalocaudalists and proximodistalists.

Those who read You Don't Say, and those who don't. Obviously.

Happy birthday from the Abbeville Manual of Style team!


There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who finish what they start and so forth.

There are three kinds of things I like: Illegal, immoral, and fattening. At least it seems like that.

Happy belated birthday wishes, Professor.

According to the Washington Post (
"Food obsessives divide the world into two kinds of people: those who seek out truffles, sea urchin and single-estate chocolate, and those who don't."

There are two kinds of people: People who need closure.

Happy birthday, John.

Happy birthday, Mr. McIntyre, sir.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who have all the answers and those who wonder what the question is.

Happy birthday, mighty John!
There are those who send birthday wishes on time, and those who send them belatedly.

I once read a column about a toilet paper factory in which people were divided into crumplers and folders.

Two kinds of people? How about (as I've been known to say): "those who know they're insane and those who don't."

Whoops - I'm late! I hope you had a lovely birthday!

Those who instinctively know the correct speed to drive on any given road (rarely the legal speed limit) and those who don't. I, of course, do.

Happy belated birthday!

A dichotomy that actually helped me learn something about people was the classification, for purposes of personal organization, into filers and pilers. It explained, for example, why I so seldom can see the actual top of my desk ...

Oy, here's to a belated happy happy.

At some point in the distant past a poem stuck in my memory which went, more or less:
Every child that's born into this world alive/ Is either a little Liberal or a little Conservative.

Happy 21st (plus whatever you are admitting to)


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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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