Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Distinguished Company

I mentioned the other day my hatred of the word appropriate. Now I've realised that someone much cleverer than me put it much better than I could some time ago. Here is Philip Roth sounding off on the same horrible usage, in his novel The Human Stain:

"Appropriate. The current code word for reining in most any deviation from the wholesome guidelines and thereby making everybody 'comfortable' Doing not what he was being judged to be doing but doing instead, he thought, what was deemed suitable by God only knows which of our moral philosphers. Barbara Walters? Joyce Brothers? William Bennett? Dateline NBC? If he were around this place as a professor, he could teach 'Appropriate Behavior in Classical Greek Drama,' a course that would be over before it began."

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