Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ruin!

Harry Mount reports this dreadful news - not only has All Souls got rid of "The Essay" test but also "The Cherry Pie" test for potential fellows. Surely this is a sign that England has gone down the plug hole and everything is reduced to beige blandness. What has happened to the idiosyncrasy of our finest minds.

I blame Blair and Dawkins!

10 comments:

Londiniensis said...

The rot really set in when Oxford abandoned the compulsory Latin paper as part of its entrance exam. Everything else is mere detail.

And I strongly suspect that the FCO has long abandoned the "country house" test. The two idiots named in the "Pope Memo" fiasco wouldn't have had a prayer ...

And given that Balliol produced these two prize idiots, one is led to infer that Balliol isn't Balliol any more. Sic transit ...

Independent said...

Surely Dr Dawkins is idiosyncratic in coming to very different conclusions from many of our present finest minds. There are many quite as bright if not brighter than he who as philosophers do not embrace atheism. The late Professor Anthony Flew looked at exactly the same evidence and became a theist.

Its a pity about the essay test. Manchester University used to set a similar one for undergraduates in History.

However all is not lost, we have Old Etonians as Prime Minister and Mayor of London! How very traditional! Boris is not bland.

Dominic Mary said...

I don't think it is really as bad as it looks : I suspect that the elimination of these tests (as with the elimination of the need for Latin - and indeed the 'Use of English' paper - for entrance to Oxford) is merely a cynical genuflection to Political Correctness, but that the underlying selection process will remain as delightfully idiosyncratic as ever . . . I hope so, anyway; although yesterday's news about attempts to engineer the selection process does, I must admit, concern me greatly.

pelerin said...

I had never heard of the 'cherry-pie test' but was amused at the chap swallowing the stones.

It reminded me of a story when President and Madame de Gaulle hosted a dinner for foreign guests in which 'petit Suisse' cheese was served. These small dessert cheeses were wrapped with soft paper and one guest promptly proceeded to eat both cheese and paper. Madame de Gaulle sitting next to him/her noticed this and proceeded to do the same so as not to embarrass the guest. Now that is what I call 'manners!'

Michael Petek said...

I blame Thatcher.

No particular reason, just the habit of a lifetime.

Patricius said...

Years ago if you knew no Latin and Greek you were not considered that-well educated...

Michael Petek said...

My grandfather, a rural labourer, wasn't particularly well educated.

He spoke Slovenian, Croatian, Hungarian and German, and I suspect he could speak Russian as well having been a prisoner-of-war as a guest of Tsar Nicholas II.

Not Greek and Latin,though.

nickbris said...

Don't know about beige blandness but they are shortly going to advertise MURDER of the Unborn on TV courtesy of the STOPES organisation of misfits & geneticists.

+ Edwin said...

I cannot believe the cherry pie test has been abandoned. Austin Farrer began a masterly sermon with it (you'll find it in his "Said or Sung") at Pusey House half a century ago.

Independent said...

It is a barbarous custom to refer to ladies by just their surnames, and a sympton of the decay of good manners in our society. Thatcher is Dennis, his wife is Mrs (now Lady) Thatcher.