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sophomoric (sof-uh-MOR-ik) adjective

1. Of or pertaining to a sophomore or sophomores.

2. Suggestive of or resembling the traditional sophomore; intellectually pretentious, overconfident, conceited, etc., but immature.

[Alteration (probably influenced by Greek sophos, wise, and moros, dull), of sophumer, from obsolete sophom, sophism, dialectic exercise variant of sophism.]

South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut, Cineman Syndicate Jul 6, 1999. "The story is too streamlined and dialogue is alternately sophisticated and sophomoric."

With back-to-school season here, it is appropriate to address learning and the learned. While the study of science, math and history and other worldly pursuits is worthwhile, it is also important to remember that what really matters can hardly be taught. I'll part with the words of Kabir, a medieval Indian mystic poet, who never set foot in a classroom. Here is one of his couplets, rendered in my less than poetic translation:

The world passes while reading tomes, none any wiser;
Truly learned is the one who learns the meaning of love.

So welcome back to school with the thought that the true purpose of education is to realize that love counts most. And remember that school never stops at AWAD. This week let's learn words from the world of learning. -Anu


Hot lead can be almost as effective coming from a linotype as from a firearm. -John O'Hara, journalist (1905-1970)

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