Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Ersatz" and other college words

1. serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial: an ersatz coffee made from grain.
2. an artificial substance or article used to replace something natural or genuine; a substitute.

The University of Washington in Spring
One can not overstate how important a good vocabulary is to one's success. Having a solid command of your homeland's primary language can only help port you into the upper echelons of business and society. For those of you who do not feel you possess any luck in lexicon, don't give up!  Like anything else, it can be improved with fastidiousness and practice. "A Word A Day" can be emailed to you; you can engage in crossword puzzles, and so on.  For those of you who do have a potent parlance, don't shy away from using it!  It would be disingenuous to do so and patronizing to play down to those around you.

The University of British Columbia
Here in Cascadia - home to two of the nation's smartest cities -Portland and Seattle - and home to #34 on Webometrics Top Universities in the World - Vancouver, BC - we don't take education lightly, but we do seem to conceal it. It almost feels like formal education is to be shamed, as being that of the bourgeois, as well as something to say sotto voce.  That's why I'm thankful for the Tech Boom and Bust. To all of those IT whiz kids who thought that by being able to string together a few lines of code, in jobs that paid $100K+, they could skimp on formal education, how is that working for you now?  It seems that being able to string together a few well-formed sentences wins, again.

There is no ersatz for an education at university and there is no ersatz for a robust vocabulary. (Now where's my Stevia?)

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. I'm a big fan of British Columbia, but I'm currently banned from entering Canada (don't ask). Go figure.