It's hard to turn down a challenge, but it's also important not to waste time on silly tests of knowledge.
Editors of the American Heritage dictionaries recently compiled a list of 100 words that they say every high-school graduate should know. Senior editor Steven Kleinelder wrote, "The words we suggest are not meant to be exhaustive but are a benchmark against which graduates and their parents can measure themselves. If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language."
It was tempting to see whether I could use all 100 in a column, but were I to abjure the writing of a serious piece, WORLD subscribers would be right to demand that the publisher abrogate my editorship and find a more disciplined, abstemious successor with the acumen to pay attention to what's important.
After all, this is not the antebellum era with its playful but inaccurate journalists, or some auspicious future day when human nature itself is belied and no one is bellicose anymore. This is now, and editors must neither bowdlerize the language nor indulge in the chicanery of being untruthful to readers.
So, I must hit hard: Anyone who disagrees with WORLD's position on any issue must be missing a chromosome, or how else can one explain a churlish circumlocution of truth that circumnavigates a world of evidence! And now I will tell you what you must know, and act upon: Deciduous trees are deleterious to our health!! If I were diffident on this vital topic I would enervate rather than enfranchise our readers, and I pledge never to do that.
I will even share with you one more epiphany that I had during the vernal equinox: A euro is evanescent, attempts to expurgate the truth are facetious, fatuous, and feckless, those who filibuster have the maturity of a gamete, and gauche attempts to gerrymander indicate failed attempts at hegemony that can end only in the shedding of hemoglobin! So there-I have delivered both barrels!
If any of you think my unified, homogeneous positions are merely an expression of hubris, do you not realize that a triangle must have a hypotenuse? Do you wish to impeach my character while, like a coward, remaining incognito yourself? I always have incontrovertible evidence for the views I try to inculcate. My intellectual infrastructure makes impossible all attempts to interpolate either irony or the jejune nonsense of kinetic kowtows to laissez-faire economics.
In fact, my lexicon has no rejoinders for loquacious orators whose mediocrity produces lugubrious effects among those who listen. WORLD columns demand metamorphosis among our readers and a mitosis of thoughts, not the moiety that TIME-with its gee-whiz stories about nanotechnology and its sad nihilism-creates. What nomenclature can adequately describe WORLD's Christian but nonsectarian brilliance? And our readers appreciate us: Some send notarized pages of obsequious remarks about how our editorial oligarchy is omnipotent.
It's true that a few critics scribble, with messy orthography, their desire to oxidize us. But we respond: Chart the parabola of our paradigm, if you can understand it! Most of our readers so value the parameter of our brilliance that they cast aside pecuniary thoughts of $49.95 per year. They know that our editorial photosynthesis releases intellectual oxygen into the plagiarizing journalistic world of plasma ("if it bleeds, it leads"), polymers ("plastic reporting"), and precipitous circulation decline.
Yes, WORLD is a quasar amid the starry host, and Worldmagblog is quotidian. Need I recapitulate the reciprocal relationship of writers and subscribers? No reparation is needed when our stories increase the respiration rate of sanguine readers: They know that a WORLD soliloquy subjugates despair and leaves the extreme descendants of suffragists, no matter how supercilious, stuck in tautology and unable to dispute our political taxonomy.
Yes, our journalism moves the globe's tectonic plates, stills the tempestuous rhetoric of the left, and alters the thermodynamics of totalitarian, unctuous rhetoricians who would usurp logic with their vacuous logic and vehement words. Amid the vortex of contemporary life we at WORLD winnow through our writing what God has wrought in everyday life.
The result, ahem, is a blessed magazine that quiets the xenophobe, emboldens the hearty yeoman, and demolishes the ziggurat of those who merely fling words to show off.