An educated man should be able to think rationally and incisively about his environment and about his human situation. Yet the ideal of the educated man is seldom approached in one of the most significant facets of his life: language. Adult Americans are badly informed about language and endemically prone to naive reasoning on any linguistic question. Moreover,they have no better insight into their own English tongue than into language in general, and this is, perhaps, the most serious failure of liberal humanistic objectives in American education.

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