The Abandoning of the Word Pupil

Once again over at The Epoch Times, Theodore Dalrymple takes another firm stand on using the word “pupil” instead of “student” when it comes to describing young schoolchildren.

But there’s something deeper than this, a kind of insincere refusal of authority as such. People now refuse to admit that they are exercising authority even as they are doing so, because authority is supposedly so undemocratic or paternalist in nature. We’re all autonomous beings who have the right to decide everything for ourselves, and since there’s no precise age that autonomy can or should rightfully be exercised, it’s best at least to pretend that 8-year-olds are students and not pupils.

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