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.

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.

  1. paolaandfrancesca reblogged this from muralgirl and added:
    "Privilege" as a transitive verb has been in use since at least the 14th century. Here’s a couple early examples from...
  2. politeyeti reblogged this from redlightpolitics and added:
    !!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. bataillesouris said: I can’t actually think of any other instance outside of academia in which “privilege” is used as a verb—which is DFW’s complaint. He’s not taking issue with “privilege” as a noun, which is the most common way it is used.
  4. muralgirl reblogged this from redlightpolitics and added:
    Well, I think he is really just talking about the awkwardness of making a noun into a verb, not about the meaning/value...
  5. ratontheroad reblogged this from redlightpolitics and added:
    I don’t want to defend the problem presented by the original poster, but I would point out it’s very possible that Apple...
  6. aka14kgold said: Hey now, don’t you knock my beloved DFW! If he used any word beside privilege, it would merely be dead-on commentary about the conventions of academic language ;)
  7. green-street-politics reblogged this from redlightpolitics and added:
    I wish you were kidding. ]=