Monday, 21 February 2011
English lessons and ivory towers
I mentioned earlier that I couldn't understand the text for the exhibition "Aphasic Disturbance". In particular two words stood out as being in the way of my understanding what the exhibition was about ; a shame really, as I didn't have a dictionary in my handbag, or access to Wikipedia.
I looked up synecdoche and metonymy this morning, only to find that they mean almost the same thing; a part of something being used to represent the whole , such as "Westminster" being used to describe the "government of England".
Maybe I am ignorant ; maybe I should know these words.
So I did a bit of research; I presented fellow students, my tutor and college librarian with the sentence that I struggled with. NOT ONE OF THEM UNDERSTOOD IT................and the librarian has an English degree.
This begs the question; did the curator of the exhibition realise that his explanatory notes did not do the job intended? Did he want to impress? Or did he not even realise that most of the population, even those with degrees, don't speak his language?