Thursday, June 26, 2008

Linguistics and crap like that

A passage from the nonfiction book I’m reading:

“Do you happen to know the derivation of ‘snob’ –s-n-o-b? I used to teach linguistics and crap like that at Yale. In Italy, in, I don’t know, maybe the thirteenth, maybe the twelfth century, a lot of nouveau-riche Italians tried to get their kids into the schools where the noble families sent their children by offering the schools a ton of money, so finally what the schools did was set up a new category which the nobility called sensa nobilita—without nobility—because not only weren’t these nouveau riche noble, they didn’t even have the instincts of nobility.”

Kinda snobby, no?

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