Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WWW: Dissimulate

According to my sketchy records, the last Wonderful Word of the Week appeared at the beginning of November.  I think I remember explaining the lack of WWWs as a result of studying too much literature and too much sociology at university level.  There were so many big words flying around I didn't feel up to squishing any more into my brain.

I just applied for graduation at the beginning of the week which means I'm definitely on the homestretch of this BA.  Soon I'll be able sign my name like Anne Shirley does in Anne of Windy Willows:

(Letter from Anne Shirley, B.A., Principal of Summerside High School, to Gilbert Blythe, medical student at Redmond College, Kingsport.)

I may not be studying literature in this final year, but I have a few more politics units to go.  Politics units don't really bombard me with new big words.  But when I was writing out an answer to a quiz question last week, I realised that I needed a new big word to describe a new problem caused by the study of politics.

Dissimulate {v}  /diˈsimyəˌlāt/ 
Conceal or disguise (one's thoughts, feelings, or character)

I chose the word dissimulate because the word 'fudge' didn't sound intellectual enough.
You may recognise some of the other synonyms of dissimulate... pretend, sham, mask, hide.

In this case I am dissimulating the fact that I have no idea how to answer the quiz question.  I fudged dissimulated my ignorance by writing a very long paragraph about nothing in particular.  It went something like this:

Quiz Question: State what a critic might say has been lost from the system of public service accountability over the last twenty years; and state what a response from a defender of the current system might be.

Beginning of fudged dissimulated answer:
A critic might say that in the last twenty years the accountability of Australia’s public service has been undermined by the privatisation of bureaucratic systems.  Previously lines of accountability ran directly between Parliament, ministers, local officials and citizens.  The system has lost the relative transparency which existed when ministers and MPs were able to review the actions of senior bureaucrats.  Critics refer to the examples of failed delivery of government policy which have led to the sacking of senior executive officials...

(it gets worse)

I'll let you know if it worked.  Next time I'll try to find a critic of the system of public service to interview so I won't need to dissimulate.

"You may be a B.A., Anne Shirley, but you have a few things to learn yet . . . "


(not quite B.A.)

1 comment:

  1. You know, the first time I read the part about you soon being able to "sign my name like Anne Shirley does in Anne of Windy Willows", I thought for a moment that you were referring to the part about dating a medical student.

    Just sayin'...



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