Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Eduction* (for Education, etc.)

In Leo Rosten's The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N (variously written with and without caps and stars), our protagonist gets his induction [1. initiation] into the American Way of Life by way of an adult-education English class for immigrants. His idiosyncratic means of induction [2. inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances] forms the rollicking basis for this comic novel about cultural assimilation published in 1937. However, you don't have to be Hyman to be human: Eduction* appears an impressive 116 times in OhioLINK. (Note that a few of these may be valid instances of the word eduction, which apparently is the same as deduction and the opposite of induction.) It's an education in humility. People say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover; in this case cover and content are equally Kaptivating.

Carol Reid

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