My Royal Court

26 January 2012

Class Distinction

Yet again, HIStory classifies the four years one spends in high school and college.  Let's take a look for a moment, shall we?

Freshman - By far, the worst offender of the distinctions.  Broken down into its base component these words are fresh and man.  Fresh is okay as this means new.  Entering one's first year of schooling is a new event.  But, man?  What happened to the female population in school?  It does exist.  In fact, at TU, women outnumber men on campus.  I refuse to refer to my students by this word.  To me, they are known as my 'freshies.'

Sophomore - Greek etymology of the word denotes an oxymoron as it means wise and foolish.  So, which is it?  Is a second-year student prudent or imprudent?  I would like to think that having accomplished that first year would make one wiser than the year before. 

Junior - A substandard attribute at best.  As a junior, one is never considered first rate.  Too, tacking the word on the back end of a proud papa's son's name allegedly denotes the degree to which a man is a man's man -- one that would make his father swell with pride.  In actuality, junior is rather inferior, so can a son truly measure up?

Senior - the all-being, most important, high-ranking word.  Allegedly, being a senior male is the epitome of  superiority. This shows the world that this man was first born and now his offspring will bear his name.  What does this word have to do with a college-year ranking?  Ever wonder why senior and senility are so closely related?  Note the first four letters; they are identical.

I say we make a case to eradicate these purported distinctions.  One could simply be in his or her first year, second year, and so forth with the anticipated awareness that this may need some re-thinking if one finds himself or herself on the 10-year plan. 


  1. But then you couldn't screech FRESH MEAAAAAAAT at the freshmen. Where's the fun in that??

  2. I like your nickname for Freshman. "Freshies" oh yes!! There is something about that which makes the mouth water!!

  3. That is all very interesting for an Australian :) very different from our culture.
    Also amazing how many words in your English Language mean the opposite in Australian English.

  4. Gia - you took me back to my 80s days.

    LD - behave!

    WA - this is why I so love to study the English language.

  5. The Hurricane's college had first year, second, etc. And her prep school had some unusual names for each class that I can't remember anymore. Anyway, I like freshies.

    Janie Junebug


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