DISCLAIMER: If you are a student assigned to read any of the following classics in school, you should ABSOLUTELY read them all the way through! Not only are they classics for a reason, but that’s your job as a student, and as members of the educational community we would be remiss if we didn’t point that out.
If you are, on the other hand, one of the 62% of adults who are simply willing to lie to make themselves appear smarter, well then this article is for you!
That’s right, roughly 6 out of 10 adults claim to have read books they’ve never even opened in an effort to appear more intelligent and impress others. How do they get away with it? Mostly through movie adaptations. But why rely on a director’s interpretation of Great Expectations when walking into the potentially vicious traps set by your dinner party counterparts? I mean, if you really want to get serious about appearing smarter, you’ll have to study with some study guides. And what a surprise–we just so happen to have some of those!
The top ten books people claim to have read, but haven’t, are:
1984 by George Orwell – 26%
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – 19%
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – 18%
Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger – 15%
A Passage to India by E M Forster – 12%
Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkein – 11%
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – 10%
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – 8%
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – 8%
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – 5%
Be serious about appearing smarter: study smarter. Never walk into a dinner party unprepared again!
Some information for students (from a fellow student) to keep you up to date with this complicated current affair.
There’s been a lot of talk going around about Edward Snowden and his disclosure of NSA information, but with the amount of commentary in the media, it’s difficult to figure out even some basic information. The purpose of this post is to answer some of the basic questions revolving around Snowden and the NSA.
Who is Edward Snowden?
Born on June 21, 1983 in Wilmington, North Carolina, Edward Joseph Snowden is soon to be thirty years old. He studied computing at Anne Arundel Community College, but illness left him unable to complete his coursework, leaving him without a high school diploma until the later completion of his GED. In 2011, he participated in an online program, working towards a Masters Degree with the University of Liverpool. Seven years earlier, in 2004, Snowden had enlisted in the US Army as a Special Forces recruit, but according to his own reports, was discharged four months later after breaking both his legs in a training accident.
Snowden’s former positions include (in the order he held them):
· Working for the NSA, he was a security guard for the Center for the Advanced Study of Language, a covert center.
· He worked for the CIA in IT Security.
· According to his own reports, the CIA placed Snowden in Geneva under diplomatic cover in 2007, where he oversaw network security.
· He reports leaving the CIA to work for a private contractor inside a US military base in Japan for the NSA.
· Until recently, Snowden held a position as a system administrator inside the NSA for consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton in Hawaii. He held this position for under three months and was fired on June 10th after his media disclosures.
What did Snowden disclose?
Through the disclosure of documents and an arranged meeting in Hong Kong with reporter Glen Greenwald, of The Guardian, and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, Snowden revealed the following pieces of information:
My home is filled with books. Books on shelves, books overflowing shelves, books on my nightstand, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, on the floor. Most I manage to get through, if not always enjoy. I am a big believer in seeing it through. Most of my friends feel the same way. AND YET… there are always a few that we just cannot seem to finish. Some are classics that we know we should complete before the inevitable Rise of the Librarians comes to quiz us with tasers. Others are books friends raved about….or best sellers that have evoked a lot of fuss…for no reason YOU can discern.
Whatever the reason, here are confessions of my well-read friends and colleagues, many of them English professors, so I will have to give them Code Names so their students never find out their dark, dark, secrets.
Dense passage about the physiognomy of whales: the poor man’s Ambien. We all know that this should be read. And many of us keep trying. It’s our own…. yeah, you guessed it… Moby Dick (Insert groaning here.)
More Viggo Mortensen would have made this seemingly-endless series more interesting for me. Skipping the endless “songs” moves things right along though. Save yourself some time and listen to some Zep to catch up on everything you need to know about what you glossed over.
Another popular snooze-fest, this comment sums up our feelings in general:
“I can’t finish Paradisio. The torments of The Inferno and even Purgatorio appeal to my sense of schadenfreude, but people in heaven and Beatrice? BO-RING.”
4. Anything by Stephen King
I must say, in King’s defense, that his text On Writing is one of my favorites. However, King, to me, and many others, is like the Costco of literature. Do you really need that giant box of paper towels? Or that giant stack of largely interchangeable plots and characters?
Sometimes an ellipsis just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need… a superellipsis. As we increasingly communicate with each other through the written word, via texts, comments, and online chats, does anyone besides me feel that our choice of punctuation marks is sorely lacking? Well, I suppose College Humor does, since they’ve given us these suggestions for 8 new marks the English language direly needs. Now let’s get working on getting them all passed, because I don’t think Facebook can handle any more complaints from my end about enabling italics. No shame.
*This almost never happens.