Here’s a passage that randomly appeals to me this morning:

Salad days (one’s raw youth) is one of those phrases whose existence depends on single passages. . . . Whether the point is that youth, like salad, is raw, or that salad is highly flavoured & youth loves high flavours, or that innocent herbs are youth’s food as milk is babies’ & meat is men’s, few of those who use the phrase could perhaps tell us; if so, it is fitter for parrots’ than for human speech.

So is this a pet peeve, or was Fowler just being silly?