Monday, October 29, 2007

Fan Club Testimonials

Here's a comment from someone called "Sexy Secularist". My blog entry on "Luther and Reason" was evaluated, and my review of a Luther quote was said to be a "fatuously windbaggish and unconvincing contextualization. "

[Luther said] "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but — more frequently than not — struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God."

(I should note here that the trouble in sourcing this quote is that we can’t be sure that Luther actually said it. It’s taken from
Tabletalk, a collection of sayings attributed to Luther, transcribed by his friends and students.

A fatuously windbaggish and unconvincing contextualization of the quote can be found
here— at one point the author reasons that Luther’s embrace of self-contradictory and irreconciliable [sic] beliefs was proof of his genius. But I digress.)


Turretinfan said...

The idea of using the phrase "fatuously windbaggish" is (ironically) both fatuous and the sort of thing a windbag might say.

Applying such a phrase to the clunky term "contextualization" would make the comment droll if it were intended as a parody.

Sadly, it apparently was not.

And what's worse, the author probably thought he gained credibility as a scholar for using such long words. (I've seen a certain Roman Catholic apologist who need not be named try the same thing.)

The problem is that non-standard conversions of adjectives to adverbs (fatuous to fatuously), nouns to adjectives (windbag to windbaggish [incidentally a better spelling would be windbagish]) and an already noun turned adjective turned verb into a noun again (context to contextual to contextualize to contextualization) is not the mark of excellency in the mastery of English, but in the abuse thereof. Fie, for shame!

Must you take out your dislike of Mr. Swan by butchering the English tongue?


Turretinfan said...

or excellence in the mastery of English for that matter (folks who live in glass houses ... ah well ... perhaps a few typos can be forgiven)