16 June 2009

"Ignorance is not to be encouraged. It flourishes well enough on its own."

I will continue to hold myself and my reader to a high standard. The Sinai Peninsula, Levant, Iberian Peninsula, UK, Britain, England, Carpathians, and Strait of Malacca. Can you find them all on a map? Today, while reading the NYTimes' After Deadline English usage column, I stumbled across the quote that I've handily used in my title above. A reader, lamenting the decline of standards, particularly lexemic, encouraged the Times editor to keep the bar high on what constituted a basic working vocabulary. Although the standards appear elitist or pedantic at times, if writers refrain from using more obscure words, it is only natural for standards to evolve in a downwards direction. Thus, I too have found some modicum of moral authority in speaking authoritatively on geopolitical issues in Kyrgyzstan, a place I only recently could find on a map. Let me hold you to my high standards and have you do likewise. And here's a map of the world.

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