We Can’t Get No

Hannibal de Pencier

There are few greater abortions of language, understood yet unacknowledged euphemisms, or indications of culturally promoted mediocrity than the use of the word satisfactory in education.

Satisfaction, ya know that thing Mick Jager couldn’t get?  Apparently it may now be elicited by the lower end of mediocrity.  Are our teachers truly satisfied with last minute, caffeine induced ramblings that grasp desperately at the significance of Shakespeare’s use of alliteration?  The 68% suggests not.  Then why is such work satisfactory?  Because satisfactory has silently, toxically, become an unquestioned, infallible euphemism for unsatisfactory.  We’ve all been drinking that electric Kool-Aid of ignorance and passivity regarding the furious burgeoning of participation medal culture.


It’s no longer acceptable to acknowledge mediocrity, without the most thorough explanation, or without inciting self-righteous indignation, leaving educational institutions increasingly wary of negativity.  Unfortunately, this noble effort to separate the negativity from learning is equally stifling on the other end of the spectrum.  Excellence is not sufficiently appreciated, or encouraged because everyone and their cat is deemed excellent.

I lament that pitiful condition, those complainers, knee scrape weeping, bad test whiners, who wail their high pitch din without malignance yet terrible effect, threatening to drag us all down. And I thank those teachers who haven’t fallen victim to such ego coddling, poisonous indulgence of linguistic butchery.  You are the heroes we need and certainly not the ones we deserve.