A reader caught up with this post from the past (September 20, 2015, in fact), and demanded… demanded, I say — that we post the student’s rant as one of our “Pithy Passages…”
As we are ever attentive to those who honor us with their thoughtful attention to our published thoughts, we have acquiesced. Here it is.
The context was our reaction to a news feature stating that a college somewhere had decided to forbid the use of the word “man” on campus. Words such as “mailman” and “policeman” would go away because, as a spokesdoofus for the college explained, people are no longer aware of the term ‘man’ as referring to all people, so we have decided not to use the term anymore.
We proposed a rant that a student might deliver to a professor on the first day of class at the college, in any given academic discipline. The rant is the “Pithy Passage” to which our friend referred… and here it is, in its entirety:
“Professor: I have to tell you, I’m mad as hell about this idiotic policy about using the word “man.” Do you agree with the policy? And, if so, are you going to mark down people like me, who say or write, for example, “mankind” in class? I need to know this, because if you do agree with the policy, then you’re probably too much of an idiot to be any kind of a teacher of anything.
“It’s not my responsibility to dumb down my word usage for the less literate among us. Rather, it is their responsibility to learn new things… like the meanings of words. It used to be that we came to universities like this one to learn new things, not to be indoctrinated, or bullied into giving away our basic freedoms.
“If you agree with this hyper-moronic policy, then you’re literally saying to me that if I submit a paper to you that (1) contains a word whose meaning you and I both know, and (2) if that word is appropriately used to mean the correct thing in my paper, and (3) it is not a dirty word, and (4) it is not a swear of any kind, and (5) it is correctly spelled, but (6) that word is “mankind” or “freshman,” or “mailman,” then you will take points off my paper.
“If you agree with the policy, then that would show you to be far too stupid to be a teacher, and would disqualify you from ever standing in front of a classroom again, in any context. You should then go find a local Stop & Shop who could use a bagboy — oops: bag-person — because you obviously don’t have the intellect to do anything that would require thinking.
“Professor: we live in America, where it used to be that we had something called “free speech,” which was once a powerful tool in protecting us against the tyranny of half-wits like the ones at this university who would pretend that they have the power, or that they have the moral right to tell you and me what we can say and when.
“To Hell with that!
“So, professor, how do you feel about the policy?”
I have to admit that when I re-read the proposed rant, I did chuckle. Out loud at that! It would be a delicious rant — and just the right one! — to be delivered at each first session of each course given at this so-called college.