Raven at San Jacinto

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Word of the day

Ricardo sent a nice new word over, Sciolism. He particularly liked the quote at the end of the entry.

with Anu Garg


noun: Pretentious display of superficial knowledge.

From Late Latin sciolus (smatterer), diminutive of Latin scius (knowing), from scire (to know). Ultimately from the Indo-European root skei- (to cut or split), which also gave us schism, ski, shin, science, conscience, nice, scienter, nescient, exscind, and adscititious. Earliest documented use: 1810.

"This consists of some of the dullest sciolism in the history of prose, a standardized academic jargon and rhetoric, the dutiful rehearsal of received theory, and the deliberate misrepresentation of anything challenging or rejecting academic postmodernism."
Michael Donaghy; The Shape of the Dance; Picador; 2009. 

See more usage examples of sciolism in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

Life cannot be classified in terms of a simple neurological ladder, with human beings at the top; it is more accurate to talk of different forms of intelligence, each with its strengths and weaknesses. This point was well demonstrated in the minutes before last December's tsunami, when tourists grabbed their digital cameras and ran after the ebbing surf, and all the 'dumb' animals made for the hills. -B.R. Myers, author (b. 1963) 

I am a poster boy for sciolism. I always have said that my knowledge base was a mile wide and a quarter inch deep. But I didn't know there was a word for my condition. If you can use them without sounding too pompous, scienter, nescient, exscind, and adscititious ain't too bad either. I could probably work exscind into my linguistic quiver.

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