WSJ to readers: You illiterate losers!

The Wall Street Journal enjoys running articles that let you know whether you're literate or not. Here are two easy ways to test yourself:

#1. WSJ 11/7/06
"Anthropologist Clifford Geertz of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton passed away last week. His name will be generally -- if often hazily -- familiar to literate people who will, however, be unlikely to appreciate the considerable impact he had on our intellectual world."
#2 WSJ 11/21/06:
"Even the most reasonably literate American may find it difficult to name more than three of the past chief justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. But of those three, one of them will almost certainly be Roger Brooke Taney..."
I'm illiterate on Count 1. That name is not generally, nor hazily, familiar. But the music there... it was hauntingly familiar.

On Count 2, I'll name John Marshall, William Howard Taft, Earl Warren, Warren Burger, and William Rehnquist. That's five. That makes me The Most Reasonably Literate American in the Wall Street Journal's eyes. Sorry George Will, William F. Buckley, Noam Chomsky, et. al. You are all distant seconds.

But Roger Brooke Taney? Who the &*^# is that???

Even the most illiterate Wall Street Journal reviewer of books on American history should be able to name Marshall, Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist. If they keep hiring these illiterate hacks, I might have to cancel my subscription.

HT: Old Zeke, who adds that the use of the phrase "the most reasonably literate American" is, in itself, evidence of minimal literacy.

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