Miniscule Matter?

“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)

MINISCULE MATTER? 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

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)

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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