Tirade of Degree

Ice Cream Day. And the air temperature outside is fractions of a degF above the dihydrogen oxide phase change. So once more to the stationary bicycle. And thence to this box.

One of my Sundae activities is to read the weekly eNewsletter for my high schule class. While it is well written by a quite talented editor/author the content is horribly bad. What the author writes is often engaging – not the bits about HS life that I never participated in because of alienation or differentiation or just plain rationality – but this morning he rather twisted my tail, so to speak.

What he wrote was a bit about how seniors spend more time in “doctors'” offices. Like most of those who lack a terminal college degree – bogs, geeks, and even some nerds – he equates doctor with physician. This seems to be primarily an error perpetrated in the English language as other European languages clearly distinguish between people who are medical doctors and those who hold a doctorate degree.

Simply put, this is a bit hurtful in addition to being socially difficult. Too many bogs have told me that anyone bot a medical doctor isn’t a “real” doctor. My usual response, since most around here are christianists, is to ask if their minister is not a “real” doctor. Same goes for dentists. 

If nothing else this demonstrates how deep the perversion runs in the social consciousness. 

I am not advancing that a Ph. D. is better than an M. D., or a D. M. D. or a D. Sc. or whatever. But they are different, just as a fellow with a Ph. D. in English is different from a guy with a Ph. D. in Civil Engineering. Not lesser, just different. But except for the honorary awardees, all of these fellows (and fellowesses) had to study and work and pass exams to have that degree bestowed. Yes, that’s another delusion. Degrees are not earned or bought; they are conferred. You can satisfy the degree requirements and the university may decide you are morally bankrupt and not confer the degree. Or they can take it back for bad acts.

The closest anyone ever came to forcing the matter was when we alleged the university never intended to confer the degree but took the government’s money anyway. And when the government gives universities money, strings are tied! And this isn’t the case for almost all students.

Anyway, the issue is that when you – bogs, geeks, nerds – refuse to acknowledge that a doctorate is a degree and a doctor is someone with a doctorate, which is different from a physician or dentist or lawyer, then you are being a bully and  a sadist.