Brown University Keeps Giving

Ackerman-290We have a tradition of honoring Brown University from time to time because of the many gifts to the world that come from that place. The letter to the Editor (the New Yorker‘s) below is one of those. Why? Mainly, just because. It is about the quality of writing, in this case. If you read it and do not feel it is worthy, no problem. Tempting to think one must have read the original piece to appreciate the letter in full, but not really. Professor Ackerman has simply written the perfect pithy paragraph:

Re “All the Letters That Are Fit to Print,” April 10th online: Of course, I am delighted with Andrew Marantz’s piece about me. But I have three small bones to pick. First, he quotes me as saying, “I then decided that I would probably live longer if I was less fat.” He also says I speak “hypergrammatically.” So I certainly hope I said, “if I were less fat.” Second, if I said, “I don’t like David Brooks,” I was oversimplifying. I don’t like his conservative views, but I like him for making me think and giving me things to take issue with in my letters. After all, a letter saying, “I completely agree with this pundit,” would stimulate little but yawns. Third, as for my speaking nasally…

Yours truly, Felicia Nimue Ackerman Professor of Philosophy, Brown University

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