This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Guarding the guards: a rant.

"Who will guard the guards themselves?" asked the Roman poet Juvenal. Only of course being a Roman he said it in Latin: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Here in Britain we have school inspectors, inspect schools and give them ratings such as outstanding, good, satisfactory, in need of improvement, that sort of thing.
The feeling at the moment is that the inspectors have been too generous with their ratings, and so from now on they're going to have to be fussier.
From September, I understand, the rating satisfactory will no longer be good enough.
This may, I suppose, be the birth of a new contranym, but personally it makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry.
Word To Use Today: satisfactory. This word comes from the French satisfier, from the Latin satis, enough and facere, to make or do.

Just for the record, satisfactory means good enough.


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