Ramping up the scholarly flak

Posted on Sun 02 Dec 2012 @ 7.00am UTC


Yet another post about that long-running saga (sago?) on the word scholarism that’s also the name of a Hong Kong student protest group.

Learn English or Starve has gotten lots of off-site flak (German: fliegerabwehrkanone, lit. ‘aeroplane defence cannon’: anti-aircraft fire — as if you didn’t know already) for our two previous articles on this wonderfully yet almost-forgotten ecclesiastical word arrogated for use by the academia.

Our first article (‘Scholarism’? Is it edible? | 09 Sept 2012) drew in an unreal amount of turgid complaints that, honestly speaking, had little or nothing to do with the ambit of that article. Less than 1% of the responses were actually on-site, on-post (and on-topic) comments.

Then a very irate reader wrote in (also off-site) to complain about why it was necessary for LEOS to amend the description of that student protest group. That resulted in our producing a second article (‘Scholarism’: A reply that shouldn’t insult your intelligence | 11 Nov 2012).

And now, this third article you are reading.

wut white chocolate baby head shit 343f_qyrp1

White chocolate babies heads … depends if you’ve guts to swallow them



Here are the facts of the situation:—

FACT: Our first article shows that lots of people confuse ‘scholarism’ for ‘scholasticism’ because they’ve never heard or seen either word.

LEOS have explained the meanings of scholarism vs. scholasticism in the first article, so we need not repeat it here.

Suffice it to say, we never blame others for not knowing something. Yet when dictionaries actually do exist in real life, and the whole Asian-Pacific region is arguably one of the greatest dictionary-buying markets in the world, our editors and advisers srsly have to question whether there’s any point for anyone to go ballistic over the origins and meanings of those words.


FACT: Our first article shows that lots of people complained that LEOS is trashing the student protest group for its politics and aims, and we should be ashamed of ourselves.

Lots of people seemed to have wholly missed the point of that first article. LEOS has never ever trashed Scholarism’s (學民思潮) political agenda. We indicated our position in the lead paragraph:—

“IF there’s one thing worse than seeing our best and brightest go off at a tangent and waste their precious youth on the brainlessness of fighting city hall, it is to see them choosing the worst-possible name to represent their political activities.”
(‘Scholarism’? Is it edible? | LEOS | 09 Sept 2012)

(Emphasis ours)

We further reinforced our non-political position in the final sentence of the second paragraph:—

“[…] We’ll skip the politics of it all because it’s irrelevant to our interest.” (Ibid.)

Our opinion is that our reader’s reading fluency clearly is somehow defective. We need not explain why because, not to put too fine a point on things, the entire first article is as clear as daylight of what we’re on about — if only people cared to read it.


FACT: Our first article shows that lots of people complained they couldn’t find the words’ entries online.

See Page 2 next for details of worrying developments that have since arisen.

Well, we don’t know how we could help on this score.

We have to restrain our brutality here for a moment because it throws us in a bad light for double-penetrating blameless folk for their inability to use an online dictionary.

We are very sorry and it was very bad of us not to give weblinks for the entries we used in that first article — but we DID give everything else.

We didn’t make up stuff on the fly because that just builds a case against our own selves. To paraphrase John McClane, we aren’t afraid of dying, we don’t want to die, but we don’t like to lose either.

[We’ve fired the editor responsible and face-raeped him in the streets. — Editor]


FACT: Our second article shows that lots of people mistook the description we used of the group Scholarism as its official description and that we shouldn’t amend it.

We see there is a fundamental lack of understanding (ignorance?) on the part of these people of the ultimate purpose of our amendments.

Our second article explained the source of that description. We also explained why — and shown how — the amendments were put in. We also offered an alternative version. We also helpfully indicated why a ready-made, one-copy-for-all-purposes description is crucial for any kind of organised entity.

We’re also disappointed that our explanations are not taken on board and, indeed, disregarded out of hand.

We at LEOS operate on a chain of logic that, if we’re being ignored and disregarded, we shall comply in like manner. In legal circles, this is called due diligence and precedence by reason of stare decisis and ratio decidendi. No one can fault our staff for not abiding by the rules. Are you?

Click Page 2 to continue.

Posted in: Street of Shame