November 12, 2004

What College means . . .

As some you may know, I am the Interview Chair for the Alumni Admissions group of my north-eastern liberal arts university. As such, I supervise the assignment of interviews, conduct some myself, and basically make sure that the several hundred or more applicants from NYC get interviews if they want them. In this capacity, I am forced to reflect on the position that College has in the American iconographic landscape. I am not going to post about that here. No, instead, I refer you to John's essays about Dartmouth. Fabulous stuff, as you'd expect from John. An example from an off hand remark about admission:

[N]ot to mention the cost of the adolescence spent in gamesmanship, artful maneuver, and self-denial that led to admission in the first place.

Isn't that just brilliant?

Also, I learned a new word from his post: synecdoche. Defined as follows at

syn·ec·do·che: n. A figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole (as hand for sailor), the whole for a part (as the law for police officer), the specific for the general (as cutthroat for assassin), the general for the specific (as thief for pickpocket), or the material for the thing made from it (as steel for sword).

[Middle English synodoches, from Medieval Latin synodoche, alteration of Latin synecdoch, from Greek sunekdokh, from sunekdekhesthai, to take on a share of : sun-, syn- + ekdekhesthai, to understand (ek-, out of; see eghs in Indo-European Roots + dekhesthai, to take; see dek- in Indo-European Roots).]

I love learning new words. Thanks, John!

Posted by Random Penseur at November 12, 2004 02:08 PM
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