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Saturday, 03 August 2013


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I'm not, I'm just 'big boned'

It's 'relaxed' muscle I tell you!

Get in that swimming pool every morning and within a few weeks the *real* Able will emerge!

Oh I exercise regularly, but trunks/shorts? Not allowed as apparently my knees scare the horses (and old ladies, and on one occasion a policeman). It's just middle-age (stop laughing, it wasn't that long ago) spread, it happens to the best of us.

On your original point, I suspect the decline in reading is the main cause of the decline in educational attainment.

I'd guess that there is research that will indicate that our vocabulary is affected positively, or negatively, by our peers and the company we keep. I love the Interweb as I get to hang around with the educated, the erudite (not the same as the former, obviously), those at the top of their professions, those with amazing experiences, ... and you of course, so I can pretend to occasionally know what I'm talking about.

Another hobby (other than learning from people who probably searched their own OED for the right term) is to attempt historical school tests, which can be (very) embarrassing at times.

Have a look at this one for US 8th graders in 1912, linked via Instapundit at:

I'd be sitting in a corner with the dunce cap on, methinks?

I hardly dare look but I will, I promise - so long as you promise not to tell DM my result!

I've never heard (or read it) with the 'ly' ending but - Greek baros "weight," from barys "heavy in weight," often with the notion of "strength, force; also was used figuratively, of suffering, sorrow, sobbing, and could mean "oppressive, burdensome, grave, dignified, impressive."

Yet to visit Miss Raccoon's place so I don't know yet what context it was used in.

Haven't read Able's link yet either - but wasn't it 1912 when the Titanic sailed?

Why are you still using the OED? Just type "define bariatrics" in your google bar, and you'll get an answer, along with an audio givng the pronunciation in both british and american english.

JK, allow me to remind you that no-one loves a smart arse!

And, Dom, I use Google for everything else but, dammit, 'words is words' and they belong in the OED!

And Able, I took one brief look at that exam and surrendered!

Those old school tests are interesting, and always good to trip up idiots who say that exams now are not easier than they used to be.

But check out the editorial matter surrounding them on the site. We learn that whereas before children needed to know the facts, now apparently they need to "understand" (NB, not know about) "alternative energy sources, food security or water management".

In other words, we don't want your stinkin' facts, what we want is the teacher's politics regurgitated without question. And we have ensured, by taking over the training colleges and subverting the universities, that all teachers are guaranteed to be sound in their views and attitudes, even if they don't know the periodic table (mere facts!), or where Manila is.

Andrew, I worry about you sometimes, I fear you are a cynic before your time!

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