or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Sometimes a typographical error tells you everything you need to know.

From Pharyngula, a sign on the athletic field of an organization of homeschoolers in Georgia:

And yes, it's real: it was published in the New York Times, which, whatever its faults, is not going to Photoshop a public sign for a cheap laugh.

I'm certainly not going to make fun of Georgians or homeschoolers wholesale. I am going to suggest that if this is the sort of thing that homeschooling leads to, then let's have less of it, please.

I can't even convince myself that the sign-printers made the mistake and then shipped the finished sign to the organization, which didn't have time to get a new one made and had no choice but to post the erroneous one. No, it's pretty obvious that whoever wrote the text for the sign actually thinks that that's how those words are spelled, that "athletics" has an extra syllable, and therefore an extra schwa, in it, and furthermore doesn't know that "academics" is related to "academy" and "academia" and "academe" (coming, as it does, from "Akademos", a Greek gent upon whose property Plato taught) and therefore has an "-a-" in the third position and not an "-e-". Such a person has no business being involved in the education of anyone, at home or anywhere else.


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