Friends of Semantic Compositions

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« A limited defense of Camille Paglia -- coming soon | Main | The devaluation of reading skills »

April 22, 2004



Oh lord!

If the "massive transformation in Western culture", is likely to continue to result in poorer verbal skills––it may be that young people simply aren't talking to each other in a way that requires a broad vocabulary.

In the push to "market" products to such a large spending group, advertisers have been speaking slang and ebonics to kids since birth. What do folks expect?

I'm from the minority generation that had "two languages"––the language I spoke with my people, called "black english" at the time. And the language I spoke with the broader "white" world. And, like, ya'know? was out of the question. Vocabulary was looked upon like painting with a variety of colors. Why be sad when you could be chagrined, pensive, despondent, etc. You get the picture.

At present, most of my co-workers at the fashion mag I work at, are 35 and under. They've confided to me that my verbal skills intimidate them, as they grew up speaking TV, chat, and now, marketing. Pop culture has now become an art in itself, no longer relegated to the lower classes.

When I watch and played video games with my cousins, I found that they use a different kind of intelligence––more suited to be soldiers in the military, in the future, I guess. But they are definitely NOT stupid.

Maybe Camille should play some. Some adults are just mad, that their kids aren't talking to THEM.


The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride f*cking with you. F*ck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.

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When figuring out the "contribution towards raising the mean" of international students, you seem to have overlooked something. The rate of change of the mean should be the sum of three terms: (1) the rate of change of the US mean, times the fraction of test-takers from the US; (2) the rate of change of the international mean, times one minus this fraction; (3) the rate of change of the fraction, times the difference in the two means. If the proportion of test-takers from the US is dropping sufficiently quickly, and you claim that it's indeed dropping, a negative third term can potentially swamp the positive second term.

An example: say the US mean is 1 in 1990 and 1 in 2000; say the international mean rockets up from 0.7 to 0.8, and during the same period the proportion of test-takers from the US drops from 0.9 to 0.8. Then the mean goes from 0.97 to 0.96, despite no group getting worse.

Not to say this is happening, but recall your argument was "it's worse than it looks." Instead, it could reasonably be better.

Build Your Credit

for those of you speculating that maybe SC isn't accounting for students from Canada and the U.K., check out page 5 of that study -- less than 7% of all international GRE-takers came from those countries...


This phenomenon is very limited which shows that international students in all degree majors are absolutely crushes the citizens of the United States in the math section.

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