Thursday, October 11, 2018

Temporary inanity

Apparently USA Today published an op-ed bylined by trump (some bootlicking sycophant of his wrote that piece.)  Surprise, surprise that it was full of lies and misleading statements!

While real journalists (not like the faux news and wsj folks) were all up in arms, the President merrily carried on with his loud lying. Say some shit loudly and boldly, and while the sane ones are trying to sort that out, move on to other stuff where you shit loudly and boldly.  That seems to be his MO.

What a contrast to the old-fashioned idea that the loud ones are not necessary the correct ones and, therefore, to be quiet and humble!  We have various expressions from the past, like "empty vessels make noise."

But, this loudly and boldly is not really a new approach.  The explanation comes from centuries before modern communication technologies were even invented!
उच्चैरुच्चरितव्यं यत्किंचिदजानतापि पुरुषेण ।
मूर्खा बहु मन्यन्ते विदुषामपि संशयो भवति ॥
- सुभाषितसुधानिधि
One must talk loudly even when talking about whatever little you know.
Fools will think you are right and the wise may also be put in doubt.
- Subhashitasudhanidhi

I like how the couplet notes that "the wise may also be put in doubt."

While I am far from being one of the wise, I can certainly relate to being put in doubt.

A few years ago, The Atlantic had a regular column about words and grammar.  The editor/columnist, Barbara Walraff  featured an interesting question from a reader who was at a loss for words that could best describe the situation that the reader was in.  All the words in the dictionary didn't work and a word had to be invented.

I was terribly excited when they ran my question (thanks to "googling" myself, I found out that mine even made it to the book--it is there in the collection that Barbara Walraff has put together):
“I wonder if there is a word for what happens when teachers, like me, grade papers at the end of terms: the incorrect information in students’ papers makes me begin to question my own knowledge. For instance, after grading quite a few papers I begin to ask myself if it is effect or affect; does Switzerland really border a sea? Is there a word to describe this acute sense of ‘unlearning’?”
—Sriram Khe, Eugene, Ore.
It really doesn't take much to get me all excited about life!

As if my question featuring there wasn't enough excitement for me, they also mailed me four books autographed by the respective authors!  Hey, I might not have accomplished much in my career, but there has been enough and more excitement to make it more than a pedestrian existence ;)

The structure was that readers sent in their creative solutions to the grammar/word question, and the editor then published the best:
Temporary inanity is what college English teacher Laura Zlogar, of River Falls, Wis., calls the malady. Deborah Carter, of Walkersville, Md., wrote, “I’m a teacher too, and I’ve always thought of this phenomenon as wisdumb.”
Various people suggested factigue, examnesia, and misleducation— also amissgivings (Anutosh Moitra, of Sammamish, Wash.), bogmindling (Eunice Van Loon, of Biloxi, Miss.), contaminotion (Jim Lemon, of Gladesville, of New South Wales, Australia), errattled (Lisa Bergtraum, of New York City), nonsensery overload (C. Bernard Bar-foot, of Alexandria, Va.), numbleminded (Doug and Kay Overbey, of Maryville, Tenn.), and righter’s block (Carol DeMoranville, of Steward, Ill.).
Tom Dorman, of Sedro-Woolley, Wash., had yet another idea, and he knows whereof he speaks. He wrote: “As a high school teacher, I can sympathize. My ninth-graders have recently convinced me that the Norman Conquest took place in 1951, that Samson and Goliath had a torrid affair (don’t tell the school board), and that car pedium means ‘seize your movement.’ Correct tests like this late into the night to meet your grade deadline and you, too, will feel doubt-witted by your students.”
Be confident. Be bold. Say it like you believe you know it well. Let the others sink in their doubt.

Not!

Never!

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