“The punster, the grammarian, the nitpicking fact-checker
all display contempt for what is being said.
They counterfeit attention.”—Aaron Haspel,
Everything: A Book of Aphorisms (2015)
The philosopher Joseph Heath recently published an op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen about the state of Canadian higher education. It’s pretty much gone viral, and for good reason: it’s provocative, well-argued, and, to my mind, pretty much right on. Even so, the first person to post a critical review of Heath’s article in the comments section didn’t take issue with his thesis; instead, he faulted Heath for spelling “minuscule” like this: “miniscule”. As it turns out, this alternate spelling of the word has been living in our linguistic country for over a century now. Which begs the question: Isn’t it time we granted him full citizenship? Or, at the very least, permanent residency? Regardless, treating him like an illegal alien seems, at this point, rather odd. Shouldn’t we just grandfather him in?
—John Faithful Hamer, From Here (2015)