A question.

Ben Wolfson wolfson at midway.uchicago.edu
Wed Dec 13 21:29:34 CET 2000

In article <917gta020ig at news2.newsguy.com>,
Alex Martelli <aleaxit at yahoo.com> wrote:
>"Ben Wolfson" <wolfson at midway.uchicago.edu> wrote in message
>news:jMAZ5.170$x3.2004 at uchinews...
>> In article <916cd20b3b at news1.newsguy.com>,
>> Alex Martelli <aleaxit at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> > [I don't wink, I don't adverbialize, I iconize
>> >only very occasionally, the polysyllabic eruditeness of my hallmark
>>                                           ^^^^^^^^^^^
>> >circumlocutions pushes my Gunning Fog AND my Flesch-Kincaid up
>> >in the high 20's -- what more could I do to shew hostility...?]
>> *Surely* you mean "erudition"!
>Abso-bloody-lutely not, o Ben.  Why use a relatively common
>9-letter word when a perfectly correct 11-letter synonym of
>it, that is used much more rarely, offers itself?  Hey,
>'eruditeness' gets 68 Google hits in all (including those
>in Merriam-Webster's Online Collegiate Thesaurus, American
>Heritage, etc, which just serve to proclaim it as a fully
>correct and legitimate synonym for 'erudition'), while your
>preferred 'erudition' get 46.600 -- talk about hoi polloi!

However, I'm afraid the August Majesty that is the OED deigns give it only a
passing mention--must be because any Joe Schmoe off the street would
naturally formulate "eruditeness" from "erudite".  The prevalence of
"erudition" on the web only goes to show that either
    1.  English speakers are uncommonly well educated in the vagaries of
their tongue
    2.  "Eruditeness" is such a mark of an unimaginative, declasse mind that
only the kind of unreconstructed hooligan who seldom has access to a
computer would use it.

>Glad I landed a nicely-sized fish with this one.  I was
>rather betting on 'shew', though -- doesn't it just _look_
>like a typo?-)

Nah,  I think "shew" is more dignified-looking than "show", even if I am
tempted to pronounce it "shyoo".  That, and I didn't really notice it.

It infuriates me that Dracula may have needed my soul more than I do.
 -- Stanley Donwood, "Dracula"

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