Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just an excuse to post something...

The only way to properly pay tribute to William F. Buckley Jr., is with big words:

William F. Buckley Jr., 82, Dies; Sesquipedalian Spark of Right

William F. Buckley Jr, who marshaled polysyllabic exuberance, arched eyebrows and a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse, died on Wednesday at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 82.
That's got to be the most ridiculously confusing headline and lede in a Times obituary in history. It's the way to scare off all those anti-intellectuals and I'm going to arrogantly cite it as a reason why students don't know jack just so I can fit the link in.

It works though:

Perspicacious: [adj] having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning: to exhibit perspicacious judgment.

Sesquipedalian: [adj] given to using long words.

He wrote 55 books. If I only can have a tenth of his productivity!

1 comment:

John said...

I am reminded of one of my favorite clever T-Shirt slogans: "I never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice." While I am a firm believer in the importance of a developed vocabulary, I refuse to support the unnecessary use of SAT (or, in the case of the dearly-departed Mr. Buckley, GRE) words simply for their own sake. Words were created to communicate ideas, and I very much doubt that those words are the first ones people think of when they wish to express themselves. You can see the difference in the works of someone like Jerry Holkins (Penny Arcade.) I truly believe that he is making the best use of his vast vocabulary to capture his exact thoughts and feelings in textual form; no more, no less.

I can come to only one conclusion based on the "students don't know Jack" article: Mike Judge's Idiocracy is growing more and more prophetic, and its timetable may have been too optimistic. At the rate we seem to be going, we'll be watering our crops with Brawndo the Thirst Mutilator and making "Ow! My Balls!" the #1 prime-time show in America in only a few short decades.