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From Intelligence:

Declines in vocabulary among American adults within levels of educational attainment, 1974–2016

Jean M.Twenge, W. KeithCampbell, Ryne A.Sherman

Highlights

When controlled for educational attainment, adults’ vocabulary skills have declined.

The vocabulary of U.S. college graduates was lower in the 2010s vs. the late 1970s.

Vocabulary declined across all levels of educational attainment.

The decline in vocabulary is primarily a time period effect.

Abstract
We examined trends over time in vocabulary, a key component of verbal intelligence, in the nationally representative General Social Survey of U.S. adults (n = 29,912). Participants answered multiple-choice questions about the definitions of 10 specific words. When controlled for educational attainment, the vocabulary of the average U.S. adult declined between the mid-1970s and the 2010s. Vocabulary declined across all levels of educational attainment (less than high school, high school or 2-year college graduate, bachelor’s or graduate degree), with the largest declines among those with a bachelor’s or graduate degree. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses separating the effects of age, time period, and cohort suggest that the decline is primarily a time period effect. Increasing educational attainment has apparently not improved verbal ability among Americans. Instead, as educational attainment has increased, those at each educational level are less verbally skilled even though the vocabulary skills of the whole population are unchanged.

This is much like work Audacious Epigone did in years past showing that at each level of educational attainment, people are getting dumber, at least verbally. (The Flynn Effect might be still driving up scores on Raven’s Matrices-type non-verbal IQ.)

This ties in to the obvious dumbing down of campus protest culture since the 1960s. Back then, student radical protests tended to be led by clever Jewish guys confident they could outsmart The Establishment the way Bugs Bunny or Groucho Marx outsmarted their foils.

Today, though, pride of place is reserved for the More Intersectional, such as black women. So we hear more and more about their feelings about Hair Oppression and how the campus authorities must step in and crush anybody who doesn’t worship their hair.

 
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  1. Anonymous[332] • Disclaimer says:

    Education is just a money making enterprise. Lots of Administrator careers to protect…

    https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2019/07/has-college-gotten-easier/594550/

  2. One of the things you will notice about the 15-30 year old crowd, they have adopted the black cultural linguistic pathology of speaking without saying anything of value. The very phrase, “I know, right?” and “ya know what I’m sayin’?” are used frequently by blacks in the middle of a sentence, without any actual ending or point being made. There are a host of other examples, but these are just two, the first having made it’s way fully into the white culture. When you add in “like” (sometimes used multiple times in a sentence) and starting sentences with “soooo…”, you wind up with people talking without getting across any message. It also ties into a sense that their feelings are what you should be picking up on, so it is of course more pronounced with white females, along with uptalk (found with men now too) and verbal frying.

    Listen to some of Mark Dice’s college (almost) parody man-on-the-street polls and you will here lots of whites, particularly women, talk this way. Unique, interesting, or deep vocabulary words are completely absent now.

  3. Hail says: • Website

    WORDSUM scores in that paper (Fig. 1):

    Mid 1970s: 6.3 to 6.4

    The 2010s: 5.7 to 5.8

    Now, .10 to .16 WORDSUM points equals 1 IQ point (going by WORDSUM’s standard deviation of 1.97 and the 15 IQ-point st.dev., 1.97/15=.13), which means that this data suggests the US resident population’s mean IQ has declined by between 3 and 7 IQ points in the era of Third World immigration.

    That seems about right.

    If what they say about the IQ97 tipping point is correct, we’re in trouble, because this suggests we have almost certainly already dipped below it. The only hope is a kind of defacto caste system with caste-based breeding (which largely is emerging, and has been much remarked upon).

  4. Mr. Blank says:

    Today, though, pride of place is reserved for the More Intersectional, such as black women.

    …or South Asians trying to use Wokeness as a way to recreate the Hindu caste system in America. *grumble*

  5. Anon[379] • Disclaimer says:

    I think you have it backwards. The Flynn Effect was highest on subjects like vocabulary, low or zero on g dominant suggests like Raven type puzzles and digit spans. James Thompson had a couple of posts on this.

    • LOL: AaronB
  6. Also, more people going to college, so you’re going to have to lower something in terms of student quality.

    • Replies: @Alan Mercer
    , @Forbes
  7. Arclight says:

    Well, when anyone with a pulse can find a ‘college’ to take them in and a federal government willing to provide a loan to finance it, obviously the quality of our typical post-secondary student is going to decline compared to more selective eras.

    When this is pointed out in some of the more progressive areas of the interwebs I visit, as well as how the college debt issue is tied to the same phenomenon, it is strenuously denied that it has anything to do with the likelihood that a good many of these students are not really college material. In contrast, the suggestion that maybe we ought not to give loans to anyone without considering their test scores, GPA and the quality of the institution they want to attend is met with accusations of wanting to hold other people down.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  8. @Hail

    The only hope is a kind of defacto caste system with caste-based breeding (which largely is emerging, and has been much remarked upon).

    So best cased scenario is….. Calcutta?

  9. @OscarWildeLoveChild

    The fundamental subtext of every rap song ever is: I am talking to you. I am holding the microphone and you are not.

  10. OT: This Story is a grab-bag of iSteve themes, from WWT to Adventuresses – even w/regular study my vocabulary for this type of thing failed me several times:

    https://www.thecut.com/2019/07/bruce-hay-paternity-trap-maria-pia-shuman-mischa-haider.html?utm_source=tw#comments

  11. I read stuff like this the first things that pop into my mind:

    — the nation is much less white, much more Mexican, so is there are racial control?

    — we are sending a much higher percentage of people to college, so is there a control for what percentage of the population is is attaining some educational level.

    From this:
    Increasing educational attainment has apparently not improved verbal ability among Americans. Instead, as educational attainment has increased, those at each educational level are less verbally skilled even though the vocabulary skills of the whole population are unchanged.

    It sounds like they are claiming my first issue really has been mitigated by increased education. (I find this very hard to believe given the magnitude of demographic change–i know we have stupidier population, it’s obvious if you were around 50 years ago. And i’m dubious overall vocabulary skills are the same.) They seem to be asserting that issue being seen is my #2. There are simply dumber people at every educational level and the education bar has moved up.

  12. anon[231] • Disclaimer says:

    I only skimmed the abstract, so I’m not fully up-to-date. Question: Is this a result of increasing the college student population since the 1970s (proportionately more minorities, fewer smart whites and more less-smart whites) or a representation that applies to the US adult average as a whole? In theory, in a multiethnic / socioeconomically stratified society where IQ varies between groups, increasing the share of college degree holders among the lower scoring groups – perhaps through lowering entry requirements / affirmative action – would decrease cognitive metrics among the average degree holder without necessarily affecting anything pertaining to the population average or individual group averages. Is this an artifact of increasing the student pool or is it something that is truly indicative of declining average cognitive ability among the entire population?

  13. Couldn’t this equally well be a matter of degree inflation? It’s gotten to be pretty hard not to graduate from high school — and you can always get your four-year degree in grievance studies.

    In support of this explanation, note that ‘the vocabulary skills of the whole population are unchanged.’ The inference is that people have about the same vocabulary they always did — it’s just that now they have a more advanced degree.

  14. We need cryptic crosswords, starting in “middle school”. (Whatever happened to “junior high”?)

    Which reminds me, someone slipped in a joke on Wikipedia. Is that even legal?

    In the Second World War, as a deck leader in the Sea Scouts, he acted as a messenger, helping to transfer the D-Day wounded and was a member of a Gang Show entertaining war workers in factories, as if they were not suffering enough.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Squires

    • Replies: @Lurker
  15. JimDandy says:

    Not a particularly intellectual reference, but Idiocracy really was a prescient piece of satire.

  16. bomag says:
    @Hail

    If what they say about the IQ 97 tipping point is correct, we’re in trouble…

    There is a sort-of race between technology and intelligence decline: better machines can be used by dumber people; e.g cars are safer and longer lasting; computer interface for most tasks gets easier.

    But can an elite corps keep up? The latest problems with the Boeing 737 Max is disturbing.

  17. AP says:

    Does the study account for differences in the population? Is the decline due to increased diversity, or are all groups declining in verbal skills?

  18. Haole says:

    Could be because Asians score better in math and not so well in verbal. Other minority groups dont do to well in math or verbal.

    Or, the New America isnt the same as the old, we need two names, America and Newerica they are two different countries.

  19. Anonymous[332] • Disclaimer says:
    @OscarWildeLoveChild

    “Literally!” “Seriously!!” “No, like
    really!”

    • Replies: @Dube
  20. Rosie says:

    I wonder if there is an inverse correlation between political correctness and elite working vocabulary. Elite signalling requires holding the correct opinions more than eloquence of expression.

    • Replies: @The Plutonium Kid
  21. JohnnyD says:

    College kids don’t have to read books anymore. Once, they understand that it’s all the white man’s fault, they can b.s. their way through college.

    • Replies: @Days of Broken Arrows
  22. Cultural bias.

    Fewer folks read, be that entertainment in the form of comic books, classical literature, or in between.

    So lower verbal scores show up across the educational achievement spectrum.

  23. @Redneck farmer

    Exactly. Each stratum is lower on average. It reminds me of the point (I don’t know to whom to attribution belongs) that migration from 3rd world to 1st on average leaves both countries lower IQ.

    • Replies: @BengaliCanadianDude
  24. The idea that we can all become smarter, happier and wealthier by just staying longer in school, is an epic confusion of cause and effect.

  25. JimB says:

    Maybe elites fear accusations of white privilege if they sound smarter than the average basketball coach.

  26. R.G. Camara says: • Website

    This ties in to the obvious dumbing down of campus protest culture since the 1960s. Back then, student radical protests tended to be led by clever Jewish guys confident they could outsmart The Establishment the way Bugs Bunny or Groucho Marx outsmarted their foils.

    Most of whom were being trained by and getting orders from Moscow.

    The 1960s college protests were a result of the successful infiltration of communist radical traitors into college campuses, who then used violent and violence-threatening actions (think: taking over dean’s offices with large mobs) to force the universities to back only left-leaning ideas and hire left-leaning professors, who then shut the door on any non-communist teachers coming in. Thus setting up a perpetual, tax-payer funded network of rich think tanks for commies for the next 5+ decades.

    Ever notice how energized they were at cheering for the communist opponents of the USA in Vietnam? Hmm, wonder why…..

    Nowadays, since the think tanks are secure, the protests are just mob attacks by the low IQ and emotionally weak egged on by the commie leaders, trying to violently attack those who would take them from their power bases.

    Anyway, much like VENONA did for Alger HIss’s guilt, there will be other document dumps in the future that show how closely linked these scum were with the Soviets and other communist powers. Much like how someday the current communist terrorists known as antifa will be shown to be communist controlled, paid, organized, and directed.

    It’s too bad the FBI isn’t on America’s side anymore. The secret police could have been useful in destroying such evil. But they’re too busy protecting the corporate left, spying on Trump based on fake information for the sake of Hillary and BarryO, and no doubt assisting antifa behind the scenes. Traitors.

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @dfordoom
  27. @Clifford Brown

    Is the person on her left a member of the trans community?

    • Replies: @AnalogMan
  28. . . . at each level of educational attainment, people are getting dumber, at least verbally.

    Meh. Words are overrated. We’ve got emojis now.

    • Agree: Dtbb
    • Replies: @silviosilver
  29. Hail says: • Website
    @Hail

    I don’t have access to the paper and Figure 1 is not labeled in preview version I am seeing. The Abstract does claim “the vocabulary skills of the whole population are unchanged.” Whatever (sub)group Figure 1 is showing, it’s a 3 to 7 IQ point loss for that group.

    Figure 2 shows:

    – “Bachelor’s or graduate degree” declined from 8.1 in the 1970s to 7.1 in the 2010s, implying a loss of 7 to 8 IQ points. I think 112 to 104 is a reasonable estimate there.

    – “High school or junior college” declined from 6.25 in the 1970s to 5.75 in the 2010s, implying a loss of 4 IQ points, perhaps from 98 to 94.

  30. @Hail

    this data suggests the US resident population’s mean IQ has declined by between 3 and 7 IQ points in the era of Third World immigration.

    This can’t be right. I was told I am getting smarter every day due to the Flynn Effect.

    • LOL: Rosie
  31. anon[111] • Disclaimer says:

    “I wonder if there is an inverse correlation between political correctness and elite working vocabulary. Elite signalling requires holding the correct opinions more than eloquence of expression.”

    What about a correlation between PC and sociopathy or Machiavellianism? Or maybe word choice as opposed to total vocabulary. Do leftists carefully measure their words depending upon the situation? I also wouldn’t be surprised if the extreme left were much better at judging facial expressions so as to keep them within the bounds set by the crowd. Dissident Right types might be less sociopathic while also being much more socially unaware (or maybe more of both); thus, the epidemic of “knowing” within this segment. Interesting topics. It would be cool if we could study these things more.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @The Plutonium Kid
  32. Curle says:

    Randy Newman anticipated this:

    “And college men from LSU
    Went in dumb, come out dumb too
    Hustlin’ ’round Atlanta in their alligator shoes
    Gettin’ drunk every weekend at the barbecues”

    Lyrics from “Rednecks” on Good Ol Boys (1974)

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  33. @Steve Sailer

    The fundamental subtext of every rap song ever is: I am talking to you. I am holding the microphone and you are not.

    There’s trouble, right here in River City
    That starts with T which rhymes with P
    Which ends up “rap”.

  34. @Anon

    I think you have it backwards. The Flynn Effect was highest on subjects like vocabulary, low or zero on g dominant suggests like Raven type puzzles and digit spans. James Thompson had a couple of posts on this.

    Steve does not have it backwards.

    Basically all the Flynn effect is on Raven’s like symbolic processing tests. This makes sense, that is the sort of stuff that modern life is much more stuffed with.

    Raven’s is an odd bird. One the one hand it’s extremely useful in being symbolic therefore directly cross-national/cross-cultural. And it is highly g-loaded–if you’ve never seen it before. On the other hand, it is highly teachable. These symbolic processing tasks are not a typical part of human life, so when first encountered by a group of people who’ve never seen it before, it’s a very good test of IQ. But there are only four or five principles to be learned so upon exposure people get *radically* better.

    Education in America–and i’m guessing the broader West, and more and more places around the world–includes much more exposure to Raven’s like concepts and exercises. And now computer and cell phone systems and especially games providing even more. So Raven’s scores have correspondingly skyrocketed. On the other hand in verbal skills–which everyone reaching basic literacy has some exposure to, there is basically no sign of any big Flynn effect. A few points from mid-20th century, due probably to better nutrition and health care and those gains have stopped decades ago.

    We are not smarter. We just have more exposure to symbolic ways of thinking. In terms of actually figuring things out we’re probably now trending towards dumber as dysgenic effects overcome gains from mental stimulation, nutrition and health care.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  35. Dtbb says:

    Nobody reads. Period. Throw in an obscure word and watch out. More than likely to be misunderstood negatively. Selects for a simpler vocabulary.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    , @Milesglorious
  36. People don’t read anything but texts outside of school. Thus, no vocabulary. The level of vocabulary in 1970 reflects, not education, but recreational reading I guess you would call it. You have to read lots and lots and lots of books to be schmart.

  37. Alice says:

    People with experience in k-12 classrooms since the 80s would be confident this result holds even controlled for each race separately.

    Extensive vocabularies cannot come from conversation. They come from reading literature written with significant new vocabulary and explicitly teaching words. That no longer happens at all in school, and that decline began before the 80s. but now we are on generation three of teachers who lack this formation themselves.

    No one is reading difficult literature in middle school or high school. this is because a) by 7th grade, a typical classroom has an average reading level below tbe 90%ile of 4th graders, and b) that classroom has a variance in students’ reading level ranging from 12th grade down to pre-print.

    So the kids can’t read (more on why later.) but c) neither can their teachers. Since the teachers cannot read and even sound out, let alone comprehend, Pride and Prejudice, Kidnapped, Count of Monte Cristo, Heart of Darkness, or Great Expectations, the teachers assign instead Hunger Games, Eragon, and worse.

    Part of this is due to the all-inclusive classroom. we are not tracking in any subject but math any more and in no classrooms before 7th grade. You cannot assign one book for all the students to read together, so they get graphic novels, movies, podcasts.

    but the reason why even the bright kids and the white kids can’t read is because no one taight them to.

    Schools do not teach phonics, nor spelling, grammar, nor vocabulary in elementary school. no one teaches Greek or Latin, and so no one knows where words came from. Without words, one cannot teach rhetoric or poetry. and so today’s teachers can’t spell themselves, can’t diagram a sentence, can’t use any complex words to convey ideas, can’t recognize a fallacy, can’t recognize poetic device in writing.

    all they can do is SJW the issues and psychologize characters.

    i wish i had data on average iq of schoolteachers since women’s lib, but all i can do is theorize. smart women used to go into teaching and nursing. Now smart women go into other things, like law, medicine, engineering or science, etc. the women who remain are just there because they’re not allowed to say aloud they wish to be married and have babies.

    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @peterike
    , @Autochthon
  38. Anon000 says:

    Harvard-educated scientist and psychometrician Johnson O’Connor (d. 1973) was big into the importance of vocabulary and aptitude and thought that: “A person’s vocabulary level was the best single measure for predicting occupational success in every area.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_O%27Connor

    Here’s an interesting take on the importance of vocabulary from a professor of English in the early 20th century:

    “It follows that the more we advance and the more we become civilized— the more interested we are in our ability to think and to express thoughts. This ability is almost wholly dependent upon vocabulary or store of words. The open door, the key to that interior person we want all of our world to know is the vehicle by whichwe express our ideas— words.

    As children our thoughts were relatively simple. We were hungry or cold or warm or thirsty or tired, and with a few rather well chosen simple words we could convey the idea to our elders and get results. As we grew up our ideas became more complicated. We wanted not just cold water, but water with ice in it, or iced water with sirup and coloring in it. In each instance, as our ideas became more complicated, we needed a greater range of vocabulary to put across the idea of what we desired. And now we find our adult life increasingly complicated by our need for more words and better words to grasp the complicated world situation or a tangled business problem. Despite a highly mechanized and scientific age, our ideas are still conveyed by words.”

    [Ross McLaury Taylor, Ph.D., Hartrampf’s Vocabulary Builder (1947)]

  39. @Hypnotoad666

    Meh. Words are overrated. We’ve got emojis now.

    Who knows, we may yet make it full circle back to hieroglyphs.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  40. Maybe soon more truly smart kids who are not on STEM or other hard career paths will decide to skip college altogether.

    Then maybe only the stupidest suckers will go and waste their time and money, perhaps ending up in debt servitude unless rescued by legislation. A typical liberal arts B.A. might become, if it isn’t already, a sign of stupidity and low social standing.

    All it would take is for the next round of little cabbages to decide there is more status in doing something profitable than paying a university so you can sit on its chairs and listen to its morons.

    #MakeCollegeDéclassé

    “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” — Yogi Berra

  41. Joseph A. says:

    All my personal anecdotal evidence shows that we’re less intelligent, at least verbally. Compare popular middlebrow reading from the 19th century (say, novels by George Eliot) to the popular works today. I’m not talking about elite, scholarly reading circles — I’m referring to mass culture, middle class reading that was often serialized compared to best sellers today. The decline is shocking.

    Compare McGuffey readers for elementary school children to high school texts today. Again, the decline is shocking. A man in 1910 may have ended his education in the sixth grade, but he was still more educated than many college graduates today.

    A few years ago, I watched some old game shows with my parents . . . Pyramid, old Family Feud episodes, and others. I remarked that the people seemed smarter than people today, even the celebrities. Even the “bimbo” type actresses seemed far more like adults than pretty much anyone in the limelight now. When I shared this with my brother, he said that several game shows had actually changed their rules to accommodate dumber people. For instance, he said that Family Feud had increased the time contestants have during the bonus round at the end.

    I wonder about Jeopardy. I’d like to think that the show has held out against the general decline. I haven’t watched it regularly since I was a teenager, but whenever I stop by my parents’ during its time slot, they’re tuned in (the Pat and Alex hour). It seems as though the questions have become easier, but that may simply be because I know a lot more than when I was a kid.

    On the other hand, television acting seems to have improved a lot. The stand-in, guest characters on old 1970s shows are often cringe-inducing. I haven’t noticed this in 50s shows, though. I’d like to hear better informed opinions.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  42. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    People read a lot less today, and extended reading of challenging material is how you obtain a large and sophisticated vocabulary.

    It’s not just those of average and below average intelligence that read less today; highly intelligent people read less today as well due to competition for their attention from the internet, social media, visual media, etc. Back when media was limited to the radio and a few channels on TV catering to the mass market, intelligent people had nothing to do besides read books. That’s no longer the case with the internet and all the visual media out there. Even if most media today mainly appeals to those of lower intelligence, there’s so much out there and it’s so easily accessible that there’s enough to put a dent in people’s reading.

  43. Lurker says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    We should entertain the possibility that Roger wrote that himself.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  44. Dr. Doom says:

    College students getting dumber, women and minorities hardest hit.
    How does this happen?

    • Replies: @Brutusale
  45. @Anon000

    ‘thought that: “A person’s vocabulary level was the best single measure for predicting occupational success in every area.’

    Not me. I have nonverbal learning disorder. Think of it as the opposite of dyslexia. Great vocabulary, non existent executive functioning skills.

    That reminds me what effect do learning disabilities have on aggregated iq scores?

  46. Anon[234] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hail

    Ever since I read about Wordsum, which can give you someone’s IQ range in one or two minutes, I’ve had this idea that you could design even more nefarious ways to put a number on someone’s IQ in a short period of time, but completely without his cooperation or consent. Clever questions that can be understood in two or more ways. Triangulation with other cognitive skills. Something mechanical, something reaction related, something memory related.

    Another idea I had: tests that appear to be about acquired subject matter material, but which have a hidden axis as pure IQ tests.

    And I wonder, with facial recognition being so advanced, if you could just track eye movement or the like, in a specially set up interview room, to get an IQ range.

    Wordsum has at least one really clever question of the sort that dumber people think is hard, smart people think they got it right, but only really smart people recognize the trick. These sortf of tests must be really hard to construct, and would not work on a large scale since the questions would leak, but could be useful on a smaller scale.

    Secondary school math classes function pretty well as IQ tests in that each new level has a pretty hard floor of IQ you have to have to really understand it. If you can make “hard floor” single questions, then a few of those together make a nice mini IQ test.

  47. The kids at Sierra College are pretty dumb. It sounds like they could have used exposure to Derb’s “the talk”, but from this report, there were quite a few wiggers present as well.

    Michael Gonzales says he rented the Airbnb for a guys getaway for 12 to 13 guests, but the crowd grew to nearly 50 as word spread on social media. He told CBS13, “Some girls started fighting and we ended up breaking it up, and then out of nowhere a bunch of guys started fighting and then after that gunshots.”

    https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2019/07/21/sierra-college-student-deadly-fair-oaks-shooting/

    The black victim was from Alaska, of all places.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  48. @Lurker

    We should entertain the possibility that Roger wrote that himself.

    Now that’s against the rules.

  49. Anon[296] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m very suspicious of this survey’s results. What percent of the current US population consists of first generation immigrants?

    The years cited in the survey happen to parallel the rise in immigration to the US and the flood of foreigners coming to the US. The great wave of Mexicans coming to the US started in the 1970s, for example.

    Has anybody every averaged in the massive verbal test score pull-down of all those foreign students who go to US colleges, and who stay in the US after they come here, but whose English is weak?

    I strongly suspect that if you took out all the first generation immigrants from the survey, and then changed the number of blacks surveyed to match the amount of blacks in college in 1974, you’d get the same overall vocabulary results that you would get in 1974. The survey you quote is likely based on junk metrics.

    • Replies: @Spangel
  50. Dube says:
    @Anonymous

    “Literally!” “Seriously!!” “No, like really!”

    Or the utmost, “Oh my God!” This enunciation by the young women as a rule.

    • Replies: @black sea
    , @Neuday
  51. MarkinLA says:
    @Anon000

    He is pre-computer era. Plenty of near illiterate programmers who did quite well. I am one.

  52. @AnotherDad

    You presume too much, not everyone in the younger generations are able to pass basic literacy levels. Thus the levels themselves tend to be dumbed down, the bar is lowered to reach the majority of where people are.

    Know what we’re sayin?

  53. Another major impact that will start to affect literacy levels in years to come, is the prevalence of texting. Texting tends to misspell words, going for context (often in slang and with copious amounts of emoticons)

    Texting is slowly messing with standard spelling as well as basic meanings of words. Wouldn’t be surprised if the US resembles the late Middle Ages in lack of standard spelling in the coming decades.

  54. @JohnnyD

    Exactly. Long-form books generally contain words unfamiliar to readers, since writers need to reach for new and different descriptive words as the pages wear on.

    But a lot of vocabulary also comes from speaking to people. Texting has replaced conversation. And it’s made the way people communicate more simplistic (not to mention more grammatically incorrect).

    I wonder if this was by design. Orwell once observed we think in words, so knowing fewer words means our thoughts are limited by that. Texting seems like a good way to dumb down a society.

    • Replies: @JohnnyD
  55. dfordoom says: • Website
    @R.G. Camara

    Most of whom were being trained by and getting orders from Moscow.

    The 1960s college protests were a result of the successful infiltration of communist radical traitors into college campuses

    But oddly enough this campus radicalism in the U.S. and elsewhere almost exactly coincided with the beginning of the decline of the Left in those countries. It almost exactly coincided with the beginning of the Left’s move away from socialism and/or communism towards becoming willing tools of capitalism.

    So while it might have been a conspiracy it obviously was not a communist conspiracy. It was more like an anti-communist conspiracy.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  56. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @dfordoom

    lmao. Liar.

    Leftism never “declined” in those countries at all. To the contrary, cultural Marxism only grew in power to ascendancy. Today, most women are completely whores compared to those times, blacks are elevated to sacred objects, and any hint of white people contradicting all this is labelled “white supremacist” and violently opposed by communist terrorist thugs known as Antifa. And let’s not get started on the homos and gay “marriage” and trannyism and abortion…..

    And the university’s have cheered all this on and intellectually pushed it and protected literal commie terrorists (such as Dohrn and Ayers).

    In 1968 you mass, world-wide coordinated protests in mostly Western countries against Vietnam and in favor of left-wing policies in general — famously, France had them, and were as culturally influential as the ones in the U.S. This in no way made sense — Vietnam was a 90% U.S. war — unless you think the commies coordinated it. Then it all makes sense.

    But it would make sense for commie liars to try to gaslight us all and claim that this was really an anti-communist conspiracy. As the kids say, cool story, bro.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  57. This leaves me without words!

  58. black sea says:
    @Dube

    Actually, the utmost is “Oh my f*cking God,” which is a particularly charming way of putting it, particularly when shrieked by a young lass.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  59. @Joseph A.

    A man in 1910 may have ended his education in the sixth grade, but he was still more educated than many college graduates today.

    Another aspect of that era is that only maybe the richest 1% of society went to college. So the majority of naturally high IQ people were actually in the working classes.

    This had to have had a big impact on the appetite for more sophisticated works among the so-called “masses.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  60. KunioKun says:

    If you read classic literature books you’ll have a bigger vocabulary. If you want to get kicked in the pants read Moby Dick and keep a notepad handy. Write down all the words you don’t know the exact meaning of and look them up at the end of every page or so. I remember when I read it, I had every dictionary in the house at my desk, and I still encountered words that weren’t in them. That Christmas I got a gigantic ultra huge dictionary, which, of course, I never needed after that book. Then again, I read it when I was 16 or 17 years old, so it might not be as tough as I remember it.

  61. @black sea

    Don’t forget the penultimate “Oh, my god, this is SO (pause/great emphasis on next word) A-MAYYY-ZING!”

  62. Anon[767] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    There was that recent research that found something like the more progressive you are, the simpler your speech is in the prevalence of blacks. That was pretty funny.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  63. @Arclight

    Indeed, and in microcosm that’s really almost the entirety of our National Conversation in the Current Year. We like the ideal that everyone is equal in every way (except for white people, who are evil) and hence any contortion is justified in supporting that ideal.

    • Replies: @Arclight
  64. Wouldn’t be surprised if the US resembles the late Middle Ages in lack of standard spelling in the coming decades.

    I don’t think they really standardized spelling and grammar until the Victorian era. For example, I always get a kick out of the fact that in the U.S. Constitution the drafters spell choose as “chuse.” They were also big fans of randomly capitalizing words in the middle of their sentences.

    • Replies: @Corn
    , @Neuday
  65. @Dtbb

    Throw in an obscure word and watch out. More than likely to be misunderstood negatively.

    Very true: when people aren’t sure what’s going on, they get defensive.

    Selects for a simpler vocabulary.

    As do browser spell-checkers and smartphone keyboard options.

  66. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    My grandfather had an eighth grade education but was reading books like Augustine’s City of God and Quo Vadis?. He started on Atlas Shrugged but threw the book in the fire about halfway through on the grounds it was pseudosophisticated trash. He taught himself woodworking, welding and radio repair and building from books and successfully rebuilt the engine and transmission in an old stately Chrysler, and built his own ham radio receiver and transmitter.

    To get his job at the brick plant he passed a written test that even in the sixties confounded many high school and vo tech graduates.

    At least in his day , and where he went eighth grade then was as rigorous as some undergrad college programs today, or so it seems.

  67. @silviosilver

    Do you use the self-service checkout at your grocery store? When you need to look up the item code for produce, do you select ‘search by name’ or ‘search by picture’? My (very informal) survey shows me that white people are far more likely to choose the former and blacks the latter. What can it all mean?

    Mind you, blacks seldom eat fresh produce (or any healthy food). My survey hence includes when the clerk is called over because of a glitch of some kind. Every black clerk so far searches by picture.

  68. @Reg Cæsar

    “out of nowhere a bunch of guys started fighting and then after that gunshots.”

    Mr Gonzales is mastering the art of the passive voice, if nothing else. Things just happen!

    (Now don’t correct me Reg; I know you’re dying to.)

  69. JohnnyD says:
    @Days of Broken Arrows

    That’s a good point . Also, when you text, you don’t have to write the words out, since your smart phone can guess each word after just a few letters.

  70. @OscarWildeLoveChild

    Use of “getting” in place of “becoming” in this column’s title is ungrammatical and has become standard. One does not “get” married; one marries. Too many people now use the word “literally” pointlessly or downright incorrectly. Laying in place of lying. Was in place of were. Present tense exclusively: “I wish I gave you my #.” An apostrophe doesn’t mean, “Look out! Here comes an “s”!” It does, apparently, mean, “Look out! Here comes a Negro!” They have culturally appropriated it and now it’s an afropostrophe, as in Ray’Pacious, Preg’Neisha, or Kill’Shawn.

    Since we learn our first, or native language by immersion, this trend is self-reinforcing, especially with the decline of education.

    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @GU
  71. Realist says:

    College Students Getting Dumber

    Of course colleges and universities have lowered their admission standards to increase their profit.

  72. Arclight says:
    @Mr McKenna

    I had one person object to this observation that the typical IQ in the 60s and 70s of a college student was probably *lower* than today because it was overwhelmingly white and therefore didn’t include enough POC talent to drag the average upwards. The left is so resistant to the idea that a huge swathe of our college students shouldn’t even be there that when it’s pointed out higher ed is basically a jobs scam financed by the loans taken out by people that would do better taking routes that don’t involve 4 year degrees, the only response is “that’s why college should be free!” Apparently the taxpayers should foot the bill for tens of thousands of low quality instructors and keep 3rd and 4th tier colleges afloat.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  73. Spangel says:
    @Anon

    I don’t think you would. The proportion of people with a bachelors degree has increased from about 12% in 1974 to 33% today. Even holding the population type constant, one would expect lower wordsum scores because you have to dip more into the shallow end of the cognitive pool to get that many more people to graduate college.

  74. Brutusale says:
    @bomag

    But can an elite corps keep up? The latest problems with the Boeing 737 Max is disturbing.

    When the government first instituted Affirmative Action in their own hiring, it was only screwing itself up. When it became a mandate for anyone doing business with the government, this sort of thing becomes legion, like how my local liquor superstore has a semi-understandable Indian answering the phone.

    Diversity uber alles.

    • Replies: @bomag
  75. Corn says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Bring back the long S! ſ

  76. @Dtbb

    You mean a word like niggardly.

  77. slumber_j says:
    @OscarWildeLoveChild

    Linguistically speaking, “like” used that way is a filler. Being annoyed by it is the same as being annoyed by “uh” or “um” or (in Britain anyway) “erm”. All of these expressions mean the same thing, which is almost nothing: “I’m still talking; don’t mistake my having to pause for thought for my having stopped.”

    “So…” is the same thing but at the start of a sentence. A more traditional example of this would be “Well…”, meaning: “I’m gathering my thoughts and soon will say something substantive.” As in the case of “like”, one therefore shouldn’t find it annoying, but I most certainly do. I guess that’s because of the relatively recent onset of the phenomenon, and the fact of its having been pioneered by tech-entrepreneurial douchebags as far as I can tell. Elizabeth Holmes, Zuckerberg et al. are champion users of it. At least she’s headed for the pokey.

    Anyway:

    as educational attainment has increased, those at each educational level are less verbally skilled even though the vocabulary skills of the whole population are unchanged.

    Doesn’t this in fact mean that the population is not getting verbally dumber, but that all the nominal “educational attainment” is–at least in that department–meaningless?

  78. @Steve Sailer

    I don’t know if that subtext is narcissistic or psychopathic. Certainly it is adolescent posturing.

  79. College Students Getting Dumber

    I was born dumb and I’m getting dumber, so what?

    I blame it on corn syrup, monetary extremism, stinky feet, regression to the mean, extreme dislike of any math beyond algebra and loud music from large speakers made of solid hardwood.

    No matter how dumb I am — and it’s impressive how dumb I can be — I would still rhetorically smash the shit out of Teddy Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Charles Schumer in a debate on mass legal immigration and mass illegal immigration and American national identity and foreign policy and multicultural mayhem.

    This is what irritates many people about politics in the USA. They see these disgusting whore politicians being protected by the corporate media and the ruling class and they see how vapid and devoid of solid issues has become our political discourse in the USA.

    Attention Steve Sailer:

    You must do 2 things immediately:

    1) upgrade your beer consumption selections to that brewery in Chico, California and 2) moderate my many, many unmoderated comments on through.

    Thank you

    • LOL: Chrisnonymous
  80. @Rosie

    And mouthing the jargon doesn’t require much in the way of intelligence.

  81. @anon

    Do leftists carefully measure their words depending upon the situation?

    No. It’s all just duckspeak, which is Orwell’s term for vacuous political jargon.

  82. Neuday says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Pikers. Now we capitalize amidst words, starting with LaserJet.

  83. Throw in an obscure word and watch out. More than likely to be misunderstood negatively.

    Yeah, like “niggardly.”

  84. Neuday says:
    @Dube

    I remember a time when getting a young lass to exclaim “Oh my God!” was a bit of a goal.

    • LOL: Old Prude
  85. @Anon

    Secondary school math classes function pretty well as IQ tests in that each new level has a pretty hard floor of IQ you have to have to really understand it.

    That assumes those taking the test got adequate instruction in math to begin with. In my own case, I made a near perfect score on the verbal portion of the SAT taken back in the ’80’s, but only slightly above average on the math portion. I firmly believe this was due to the “new math” they inflicted on us kids in the ’60’s which left me with a math phobia I’m not sure I ever really recovered from. It was frustrating and miserable to know how to get the right answers with the old way but lose points because you didn’t get them with the new way. I have a grandnephew who’s having pretty much the same problem with Common Core.

  86. Henry says:
    @OscarWildeLoveChild

    People often sound like “Valley girls.” Does anyone start speaking these days without starting with “So…”? Watch the movie “Clueless.” Speech is larded with “like,” guaranteeing that one sounds like an idiot.

    • Replies: @GU
  87. Declining vocabulary? I can’t even

  88. bomag says:
    @Brutusale

    Yes, we were told that minorities et al were not able to flash their brilliance and grow the GDP because of discrimination, non-inclusion, etc.

    But not much money is showing up on the table, and we’re locked into this long term contract, apparently till death do us part.

  89. @Anon

    In case you don’t get it, let me translate the comments of Steve Sailer and AnotherDad: It is you who have it backwards, ass backwards to be blunt.

  90. @Clifford Brown

    So best cased scenario is….. Calcutta?

    Probably more like Brazil, but with the capital in Jerusalem instead of Brasilia.

  91. @Steve Sailer

    Sort of like dolphin-speak or whale-speak.

  92. Old Prude says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Same with punk and heavy metal. Why are they yelling at me?

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  93. Old Prude says:
    @Anon000

    As an accomplished raconteur I completely agree with the notion that a large and sophisticated vocabulary allows better nuance and description. But swear words can be useful, too😉

  94. peterike says:
    @Alice

    So the kids can’t read (more on why later.) but c) neither can their teachers. Since the teachers cannot read and even sound out, let alone comprehend, Pride and Prejudice, Kidnapped, Count of Monte Cristo, Heart of Darkness, or Great Expectations, the teachers assign instead Hunger Games, Eragon, and worse.

    I was thinking along the same lines. In the 70s, Edgar Allan Poe stories were still pretty typical reading in 7th or 8th grade. Now, most college graduates would be utterly baffled by his vocabulary and prose style.

    Check out the first paragraph of that old grammar school shocker, “The Cask of Amontillado.”

    The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled –but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

    Could half the members of Congress make sense of that? I’m pretty sure that this year’s IT girl Alexandria Ocasio-C-Cups couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

    • Agree: Lockean Proviso
  95. Forbes says:
    @Redneck farmer

    It’s a mean reversion effect as credentials are handed out to less impressive cohorts of higher ed/college attending/graduating students.

    In 1960, about 10% of high school graduates matriculated at 4-year colleges. It now approaches 50%, so the collective cognitive intelligence level will be substantially lower. Where previously, the mean capability could’ve been expected to be, say, north of the 80th percentile (not all college-capable matriculated), today, anyone with a pulse is attending college–so capability (vocabulary, et al.) is significantly lower.

    What appears to be reported by this study is a the measurement effect of population drift over 40 years. The sub-population groups measured (1970 v 2010) are not the same. Significantly so.

  96. @Anon

    Clever questions that can be understood in two or more ways. Triangulation with other cognitive skills. Something mechanical, something reaction related, something memory related.

    James Thompson or whatever his name is is on Unz and he has said the same thing. I actually agree on this. For curiosity’s sake, can you give me some specific examples?

  97. @Clifford Brown

    Nah, Calcutta’s pretty bad. Nothing wrong with eugenic breeding

  98. @Alan Mercer

    I mean…Indian Immigrants tend to have higher IQs than the whites

  99. Anonymous[153] • Disclaimer says:
    @bomag

    But can an elite corps keep up? The latest problems with the Boeing 737 Max is disturbing.

    How about Volkswagen?

    • Replies: @Lockean Proviso
  100. Anon7 says:

    I’ve seen this vocabulary deficit. It makes me think about the difference between physics and biology. Once you know a half-dozen laws and some trig, you can solve an almost unlimited number of engineering problems. It’s glorious. But with biology, on the other hand, it seems like you have to memorize endless books full of stuff, and don’t even talk to me about organic chemistry.

    Being a doctrinaire lefty progressive seems like the same thing. Once you’ve memorized some basic intersectional feminist theory, you can solve any problem! Best of all, you don’t need to think anymore, you never need to look at specific cases or ever learn anything new. And of course, you don’t need to learn much vocabulary, you just need to know who the Bad people are, and you can tell just by looking.

  101. Sparkon says:

    By 1970, there had already been a big drop-off in SAT scores. To make these kinds of comparisons valid, earlier results should be included, starting in the immediate post-WWII-period, even if that makes Boomer Bashing all the more difficult.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Historical_Average_SAT_Scores_%28Vector%29.svg

    Pay most attention to the blue and red traces in the lower left, which record results before the test scores were inflated artificially and the test itself was changed, or as some would claim — dumbed down.

    Between (cohorts graduating in) 1952 and 1966, SAT verbal scores never dropped below 470, but between 1963 and 1980, verbal (reading) scores declined from from 478 to 424.

    Put another way, verbal SAT scores for cohorts graduating between 1952 and 1966 hovered between 470 and 480, but by 1967 there was a 5 point drop-off to 465, and steady declines thereafter, with the biggest drop from 444 in 1975 to 434 in 1976.

    Dumb shits rising.

    Too much TV and not enough reading made Jack a dull boy.

  102. Anonymous[153] • Disclaimer says:
    @Curle

    Randy Newman anticipated this:

    “And college men from LSU
    Went in dumb, come out dumb too
    Hustlin’ ’round Atlanta in their alligator shoes
    Gettin’ drunk every weekend at the barbecues”

    Lyrics from “Rednecks” on Good Ol Boys (1974)

    Randy Newman contributed to this, by brainwashing White Americans into hating themselves, demoralizing them and inducing them to surrender their country.

    That lyric is typical of his anti-Gentilism.

    • Agree: AceDeuce
  103. “Professional Athletes Getting Fatter”

    That’d be the headline if every fool who could run (waddle?) a thirty-minute mile were signed to play in major leagues sports, with one million teams of ten thousand players each in every league to provide them all spots.

    Use any other analogy you like.

    My point is “college students” – if properly defined as persons intelligent enough to handle material that people in college should be able to handle, and admitted to a number of colleges whose student bodies’ sizes reflect the concomitant selectivity for matriculation and rigour for graduation, as well as the available work for which such persons are needed – are not getting any stupider.

    It’s the same canard with how Americans are supposedly dumber than Fins, only really Negroes and mestizos are dumber than Fins, who are almost all white in comparison. (Immigration is relevant here, and also to the business of how smart people in college are.)

    Instead of addressing the obvious underlying phenomenon, its cause, and the solution, of course, which every intelligent man knew years ago, the “study” documents all the obvious stuff with empirical measures, then announces the fascinating insight they’ve revealed and invite further study of what ponderous mystery may be its cause. (I’m all for empiricism, but do we need to spend time and money precisely measuring the speeds of gazelles and tortoises with radio-transmitting tags so we can breathlessly announce our “discovery” of which is swifter and then wonder how come?)

  104. GU says:
    @Bard of Bumperstickers

    I’ve noticed a steep decline in the use of “which.” Its replacement is “what.” Example: instead of “Which cup would you like?” we hear “What cup would you like?”

    What movie shall we see? (Instead of “which movie”). &c.

  105. GU says:
    @Henry

    Clueless is in fact a clever riff on “Emma” and is pretty well written IMO. It does, however, capture the Valley Girl idea quite well, in a purposefully over the top manner.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  106. @GU

    And “could of went” and the like. It just hurts. Nobody seems to know how to arrange I and me properly, either: “They gave it to Dad and I” for example. They gave it to I? And, of course, your and you’re is dead and buried: https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/1pgigp/cat_ass_trophy/

  107. @GU

    I’ve noticed a steep decline in the use of “which.” Its replacement is “what.” Example: instead of “Which cup would you like?” we hear “What cup would you like?”

    Could be a regional or sectional or ancestral thing.

  108. @OscarWildeLoveChild

    Even the most objectively talented rapper in history – who embraces “black” speech as much as anyone may be said to, hasn’t an iota of animus toward Negroes, and would doubtless despise anyone caught reading The Unz Review – nevertheless acknowledges the inanity of “nomesayin” and other nonsense, filler speech, as evidenced by his good-natured participation in this sketch (N.B the bit at 4:20). In fact, he doesn’t use those constructions much, if any, to my knowledge.

    But then, he wouldn’t, would he, being an evil “appropriating” white guy and all…?

    • Replies: @James Braxton
  109. @Old Prude

    Right. If only heavy metal musicians were capable of something beyond screaming about the fact that they are screaming and others are not. Like, I don’t know, sophisticated symphonic pieces with nuanced and profound lyrics about complicated themes such as mental illness….

    Nope, just inane screaming all the way down.

    Why, doubtless you’ve composed better music humming in the shower. Why, if I handed you a sheaf of staff-paper and a Bic, you’d sure teach these five jackasses’ grandmothers to suck eggs!

  110. @Alice

    [S]mart women used to go into teaching and nursing. Now smart women go into other things, like law, medicine, engineering, or science, etc.. The women who remain are just there because they’re not allowed to say aloud they wish to be married and have babies.

    This phenomenon, and its implications for the family (via mothers) and society at large (via teachers) cannot be overstated. From the moment I knew he’d been conceived, never mind born, my child’s smallest need became infinitely more important to me than any careerism or “self-fullfillment” or “self-realisation” I could imagine; or, if you like, dedication to him is realisation of myself. That modern women do not hew to such a paradigm is disturbing, to put it mildly.

  111. @GU

    I tried to watch Clueless and could not go on after about half an hour.

    I think Emma is Austen’s worst book; her heroine is a clueless busybody.

  112. @Arclight

    Yes, exactly. And when they’re bleating about how “college must be free for everyone!!!” I ask them why the kids of billionaires should have their educations subsidized by middle-class taxpayers and they just shut up and look angry. Harshing their buzz! Whatever you do, don’t harsh their buzz!

  113. dfordoom says: • Website
    @R.G. Camara

    Leftism never “declined” in those countries at all. To the contrary, cultural Marxism only grew in power to ascendancy.

    Cultural marxism has zero to do with leftism. Cultural marxism has been pushed by big business as a way to destroy the Left.

    You’re about half a century behind the times, but keep searching under your bed for commies.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  114. @Autochthon

    I think you meant to say “subjectively.”

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  115. anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @bomag

    The immensity of the coming idiocracy hit me during the Obamacare exchanges debacle.

    And I got a little preview several years ago when helping my FIL with the local SS office. When he sent in his wife’s death certificate to SS, they decided he was deceased as well. It took months to rectify this. And when you talk to an employee, you have to repeat your SSN out loud to the whole room. When I complained about that, I was looked at like I was crazy.

  116. @James Braxton

    No; I meant objectively: There’s no accounting for taste, so it is, by definition, silly to speak of who is better subjectively (one fellow prefers Nas, another Jay-Z, and so on…). Mathers is the most famous, he has sold the most albums, influenced the most people, etc.

    You got a another contender?

    Mathers himself famously ranked, in his estimation, the best rappers thus:

    1. Redman
    2. Jay-Z
    3. / 4. Tupac Shakur & Biggie Smalls
    5. André 3000
    6. Jadakiss
    7. Kurupt
    8. Nas
    9. Himself (Mathers)

    Anyway,I concede “best” is a nebulous term in this context; my assertion was meant to be akin to saying the Beatles were, objectively, the best rock ‘n’ roll band. I personally appreciate many other bands more than the Beatles, but I would not argue another band more fit for the claim, and I don’t think it would be very defensible to do so.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  117. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @dfordoom

    ROFL.

    Degeneracy has 100% to do with both Cult Marxism and Leftism, because the two are one and the same.

    I do love you commies and your denial of your degeneracy pushes. Do try to keep it up, liar.

  118. @Anonymous

    As Steve has said, maybe there is no inner circle of competence. Maybe it’s just buck-passing and slacking everywhere all the way up.

  119. @Clifford Brown

    At around 8 minutes into Rep. E’rika’s press conference, Counselor Bowtie righteously informs us that in “our community” the “B-word” is the worst thing you can call an African American woman.

    Please excuse my confusion, Counselor -then why is the “B-word” the second most common term in the sophisticated and uplifting music produced and celebrated for over three decades by “your community” (and yes, you know the first)?

    While everybody is getting all indignant over some alleged name calling…

    http://www.unz.com/sbpdl/his-name-is-tyler-wingate-24-year-old-white-man-gets-in-car-accident-with-black-male-in-83-black-detroit-black-motorist-beats-him-to-death/

  120. @Anon

    It’s inevitable, because they talk to them. If you have blacks in your workplace, it quickly becomes obvious that your only choices are communicating at a lower level or not communicating. I usually just don’t communicate.

  121. @GU

    That’s true. It might be in part the influence of “international English.” Many of the ESL students I teach don’t really grasp the difference and just default to ” what. “

  122. @Autochthon

    A list of the best rappers reminds me of what Samuel Johnson said about women preaching.

    Samuel Johnson, able lexicographer, once ejaculated: “Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all!”

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