Today’s mansplaining courtesy of David Foster Wallace and Apple’s Thesaurus
Just searched for the word privilege in the Thesaurus that quietly sits on my Mac’s dashboard. I had to make a screen capture because it is too outrageous to be explained. As part of the Thesaurus function, Apple includes a text to, supposedly, give context to words and their common use. In this case, it is a ranty paragraph from David Foster Wallace.
I’ll paste a transcription as well (both for the visually impaired and for those who do not display images):
Even though some dictionaries OK it, the verb to privilege is currently used only in a particular English subdialect that might be called academese. Example: The patriarchal Western canon privileges univocal discourse situated within established contexts over the polyphonic free play of decentered utterance. (Yes: it’s often that ghastly.) Contemporary academese originated in literary and social theory but has now metastasized throughout much of the humanities. There is exactly one rhetorical situation in which you’d want to use to privilege, to situate, or to interrogate + some abstract noun phrase, or pretty much any transitivized-verb construction that’s three times longer than it needs to be—this is in a university course taught by a professor so thoroughly cloistered, insecure, or stupid as to believe that academese constitutes intelligent writing. A required course, one that you can’t switch out of. In any other situation, run very fast the other way.
Yes, thank you Apple. Because there is no other, socially related way, to use the word privilege.
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