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The very inarticulate Caroline Kennedy, ya know!

The Dowds of journalism are also upwardly mobile enough to aspire to invitation into the salons, dining rooms, and committee conference rooms of those above them in both wealth and station.

You don't get those invitations if you foolishly write that a Jackson Pollack painting could have been done - in fact, has been done - by a chimpanzee with a paintbrush, or that architect Frank Gehry's crazy building designs look like exemplars of the crushed-tin-can school of architecture, or that trendy Maya Angelou's poetry falls far short of Shakespeare's (a dead white male) in terms of structure, discipline, breadth of language, or portrayal of the human condition.

The same group of aspiring upwardly-mobile Fourth Estaters seems to include the editor-publisher of Middlebury's liberal newspaper; he used a full third of his editorial column recently to denigrate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for using a couple of "likes" in one of her interviews. The same editor-publisher has been remarkably silent on the avalanche of Caroline Kennedy "ya knows."

Had the Kennedy standard-bearer in-training been either more to the right or less rich, she would have been a suitably down-scale target for his brand of editorial ridicule.

When my generation was growing up, we were ridiculed at home and school for using "ya know" in conversation - "no, dear, I don't know" - or - "no, young man, we don't know" were the humbling devices, devices which cured us at the dinner table or in the classroom through humiliation (like the now-vanished parochial-school hardwood ruler presently considered as child abuse).

All of the above explains why, in Joseph Sobran's words, "In one century we have gone from teaching Greek and Latin in high school to teaching remedial English in college."

Caroline Kennedy apparently had such an active social calendar in her undergraduate years that, ya know, she simply couldn't, ya know, even find time, ya know, to attend those classes.

Former Vermonter Martin Harris lives in Tennessee.

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