|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M – Th 11p / 10c|
|Moment of Zen – Ignoramus|
“I just wanted to see how much of an insult it was to be called an ‘ignoramus’ … since I didn’t know what it meant, I just Googled it. It’s an ‘ignorant lawyer’! We all know Barack Obama is a lawyer, so Chavez was saying he was an ignorant lawyer.
–Gretchen Carlson, Fox & Friends – Fox News
Gretchen Carlson needs to Google the difference between the etymology† of a word and its definition††. I know, I know, the first entry at Google for “ignoramus” has a lot of words and symbols before it gives the definition, so I can see how the feeble-minded, unaccustomed to reading information out of a dictionary might be confused, but the definition is most certainly there. “Ignoramus” according to the page she read at Merriam-Webster states quite clearly that the meaning of the word is an utterly ignorant person or a dunce. Perhaps Ms. Carlson didn’t know the meaning of “ignorant” or “dunce” and couldn’t be bothered to look those words up.
I would however suggest that any adult speaker of English who doesn’t know –without looking it up on Google or in a dictionary– what kind of insult the word “ignoramus” is or what it means may very well be an ignoramus.Footnotes
- † While Merriam-Webster only gives the etymology of the word from its recorded usage in a 17th century play of the same name (Ignoramus) about an ignorant lawyer, that is not the word’s definition. In fact, it’s not even the correct and full etymology. “From New Latin, a grand jury’s endorsement upon a bill of indictment when evidence is deemed insufficient to send the case to a trial jury, from Latin, we do not know, to be ignorant.” I trust my much better paper dictionaries over anything she could possibly find as the first link of a single word search on Google, thank you very much. [↩]
- †† What the word means, dear Gretchen, in common parlance … not where the word came from. If we used the historical use of words to define their present usage, “preposterous” would still mean “in the wrong order” rather than “absurd” … which is what not knowing what ignoramus means is: utterly absurd or preposterous. Didn’t Gretchen go to grade school? Has she really never been called an ignoramus before or even heard the word somewhere in her 43 years of life?! [↩]