Science Fiction: July 2005 Archives

Last week I said the following about people who make themselves feel superior by criticizing how some people use language but turn out actually not to understand the linguistic principles of the case and thus criticize something that's perfectly fine:

Those who make fun of people who say things like this are therefore ignorant about how the English language works. It's kind of ironic that it's so easy for people to place themselves as having a superior understanding of language by making fun of people who talk about PIN numbers, when doing so is actually betraying their own ignorance of how language works. Unfortunately, this sometimes goes along with a sense of superiority about being a better master of the language, and as with those who criticize President Bush's regional dialect as unintelligent it just turns out to be arrogant ignorance disguised as intelligence and superiority, a very unattractive combination.

A similar phenomenon occurs with reviews of science fiction. Those who simply don't like sci-fi sometimes speak of it as fantasy adventure stories for children and thus reveal that they themselves are either ignorant of what the best sci-fi is really like or not intelligent enough to understand the intelligence behind much science fiction.

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