“Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” – Thomas Gray
I thought I might regale you with my knowledge of igloos…
… unfortunately, I know very little about igloos…
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya
Does my ignorance upon the topic of igloos mean I am stoopid? Certainly there are plenty of reasons to conclude I am, but that particular gap in my knowledge, I think, simply means I am ignorant. And, although it gets some seriously bad press, “ignorant” is truly not a judgmental word–and they really should have left that ‘e’ after the ‘g’, when forming the word, “judgmental”.
Taken literally, “ignorant” simply indicates a lack of knowledge, not a lack of intellect.
“Well, what’s the difference?” you ask, out of ignorance (I’m not being judgmental).
“A great memory does not make a mind, any more than a dictionary is a piece of literature.” – John Henry Newman
If you’re reading this, you have some knowledge of the English language – that, or you like looking at the funny symbols and giggling… or, you think you have an understanding of English, but are really just looking at the funny symbols and giggling–that’s just creepy. And that is totally judgmental. You are a very creepy person.
So, let’s go with the assumption you know how to read English, ’cause any other assumption will leave me here typing silly little insults because, for some bizarre reason, it’s fun to make fun of people when they have no idea you’re doing it.
I mean, it’s not like you’re stupid, or something, just because you don’t speak English. In fact, a whole bunch of people who read this blog are quite–OK, “a whole bunch of people” never do read this blog, but the three who do are quite adept with the English language, and they mostly look at the page and giggle an embarrassed little giggle because they have no idea what I’m rambling on about and are laboring under the delusion that I must be making some profound point, somewhere in here!
My point, just now, is that even people who speak English do not necessarily mean the same thing when they use a given word. Take “intelligent”, for example. For a lot of people, anybody who can remember the capitol of Istanbul is a genius, but here’s the thing: Istanbul is a city in Turkey, so it has no capitol… it isn’t even the capitol of Turkey. OK, genius? Extra points if you know why Constantinople was renamed Istanbul (hint: “That’s nobody’s business but the Turks”).
It’s OK; you don’t need to feel like an idjit just because you’re not a fan of 1950s Swing music…