gratuitious quoting, and a rant...
2003-11-01 15:11:00 ET

light of my life,
fire of my loins.
My sin,
my soul.

Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita."

Now for the rant. If you examine the opening of that wonderful book by Vladimir Nabokov, you can't help but to be struck by the sheer simple beauty and elegance of it.

This is what disturbs me so much: English wasn't his first language, nor even his second!

Most people, born, raised and educated in this country don't even have a quarter of the mastery of the language that Nabokov did. Isn't there something just the slightest bit wrong with that picture?


2003-11-01 15:12:58 ET

Welcome to America, dear.
That's all I have to say.

2003-11-01 15:18:19 ET

I'm not American, but I've certainly noticed that tendency here in Canada as well. Eloquence, beauty of semantic expression, and a vocabulary exceeding 100 words or so seems to be a rarity these days.

2003-11-01 15:19:26 ET

Perhaps it's just people in general, then.

2003-11-01 15:25:44 ET

At least those who use the English language.

2003-11-01 15:27:32 ET

I blame t.v.


2003-11-01 15:31:54 ET

the current education systems don't help, either. not to mention, the radio first got people off the written word (but still used language properly), and then tv and pop magazines and horrible education came and blew the rest of it.

2003-11-01 15:39:52 ET

The media in general is an incredibly negative influence, but yes- the education system is just horrible.

2003-11-01 15:41:58 ET

Not all education everywhere is horrible.
I agree to the point where most of it is but, in richer counties, like the one I reside in, the education system is excellent.
It's a matter of how willing one is to learn as opposed to the system itself, yah?

2003-11-01 15:52:55 ET

The entire North American educational system is in dire need of a rehaul.

As for 'how much one is willing to learn'.. if one isn't given the resources with which to learn, how can one? And tell me how many children are going to take a raging initiative to go above and beyond their schoolwork when they could be on their playstations instead?

2003-11-01 15:56:36 ET

2003-11-01 16:35:59 ET

Yes, as you said, they aren't gvien the adequate tools or information (or let alone the truth!), not to mention, as melissa said, in RICH counties... once again, the poor gets the shaft...

2003-11-01 16:41:14 ET

...does it make sense? Yes and no. Because people who are born in the country are in for life. They don't have any sort of standard that they're required to reach, and they don't have to care at all. It's the whole... 'you don't appreciate a gift you're born with' syndrome.

People who are coming in or even those who want to get by quite well make an effort to understand the country and the language. Most serious immigrants (emmigrants?) know more about this country than your average Joe Shmoe.

Plus, this man sounds like he most definately posessed higher than average intelligence. ^^'

2003-11-01 21:03:46 ET

And "Lolita" is NOTHING compared to "Pale Fire." He's incredible.

As far as his multiple language abilities--he was a brilliant man, gifted in the craft of writing. Not everyone can do that. I think the ability to grasp the right word or phrase, and all the subtleties it connotes, is not something that can be taught. You either have it or you don't, you know?

2003-11-02 16:04:23 ET

*nods quietly in agreement*

They also say that one's skill in mathematics is directly related to the person's maturity. Something about both things using the same part of the brain... it could be a big giant load for all I know.

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