What a meretricious culture we have — meretricious, I say!

Given the title, you might think that I was planning to back up that statement. However, I take it as a given and obvious to even the most casual observer. I am writing, rather, to announce that I’ve learned a new word: “meretricious.” 🙂

The word came to me in a quote from columnist Caitlin Flanagan (with The Atlantic) who says that parents “have a moral responsibility to shield their children from the many aspects of our common culture that are over-sexualized and generally meretricious.”

Right on! And what does meretricious mean? “1. alluring by a show of flashy or vulgar attractions; tawdry. 2. based on pretense, deception, or insincerity. 3. pertaining to or characteristic of a prostitute.” Well, I think our society is 3 for 3, there!

Perhaps you will think me unlearned to not have known what meretricious was before today.  Oh, well.  I can do trigonometric substitutions for integration in calculus? Does that count for anything?  (And I know the scientific names of beings animalculous )

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4 thoughts on “What a meretricious culture we have — meretricious, I say!

  1. Ah, but can you summarize for us the chemical and thermodynamic properties of unobtanium? 😀

    I just received an ad book today for “The Great Courses”. One course offered sounds like an excellent course in the two kinds of calculus. And had I finished the Biblical Hebrew course I’d started already (quite a few moons ago), I’d think of starting that. I never got past first-semester calculus in college and would like to have a solid foundation in the subject. I really loved analytical geometry in high school and (if my total pleasure and my perfect grades were any indication) was a wizard at it, especially in transformations on a Cartesian graph.

  2. mamaterri

    And now I’ve learned a new word! Thank you, Mr. Smith.

    Wow! That most definitely describes our society. Unfortunately, many parents expose their own children to (rather than protect them from) our “over-sexualized and generally meretricious” society, even by the television shows they choose to watch while their children are in the room.

  3. alangordon339

    Our society is extremely meretricious. There is great regard for money, but not for truth. Honesty is rarely found and people use other people as they would objects. That’s what’s wrong with society, to begin with.

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