On “Mediocracy”

I have actually heard two different high school principals say, to assembled students in one case, and a faculty meeting in the other, that “mediocracy” was not acceptable, nor what we should want as a school, from our students, blah blah blah.  Use a non-word like that, and you’ve lost me as a listener, possibly permanently.

Clearly, the fact that two different principals (neither at my current school, by the way) in central Arkansas did this same SNAFU means it is likely that someone nearby is teaching this to people, spreading the idea to replace “mediocrity” (a perfectly good word) with “mediocracy.” They’re probably doing this at a nearby teacher school, er, I mean, “College of Education.”

This got me wondering about possible definitions for “mediocracy.”  One comes to mind very quickly, and that is a system of government:  rule by the mediocre.

Oh, wait, we have that already, and have had it for as long as I can remember.  I guess we are willing to accept mediocracy, at the federal, state, and local levels, and in all branches of government.

Sigh.

1 thought on “On “Mediocracy”

  1. I am certain that some children who used the word “mediocrity” (spelling and pronouncing it correctly) have been thoroughly and punitively “corrected” into “mediocracy” … and that this has been happening for long enough that they are now parents and (some of them) teachers, doing it to the next generation …
    This wouldn’t be the only time that a verbal error took over from the originally correct word: see this list of ten of the present-day standard English words that originated as “mediocracy”-type mistakes — http://mentalfloss.com/article/60059/10-words-started-out-errors

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