Houghton Mifflin has posted 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know.
“The words we suggest,” says senior editor Steven Kleinedler, “are not meant to be exhaustive but are a benchmark against which graduates and their parents can measure themselves. If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language.”
Via Jason Kottke, who commented “Alternate title: 100 mostly useless words.” I say, Wrong, ignoramus breath. As Kleinedler says, the list is a benchmark, an indication of a person’s ability to use the language well. If you know many of these, and how to use them, then you’re likely to be able to read more widely, write more informatively or persuasively, and not get jerked around by manipulative language or rhetoric. The more you know about language, the better a thinker you can be, and (ahem, Jason) the better blogger as well. And Jason Kottke is an excellent blogger, whom I read regularly. He’s just glibly wrong this time.