These days crétins study at the university of london by keith armstrong

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Information about These days crétins study at the university of london by keith armstrong

Published on October 31, 2013

Author: yourkamden



This paper discusses the use of the word "crétin" from sources, including printed and web based dictionaries,medical history, and equality in the context of education and higher education.

These days Crétins study at the University of London by Keith Armstrong Abstract This paper discusses the use of the word "crétin" from sources, including printed and web based dictionaries, medical history, and equality in the context of education and higher education. Keywords: linguistics, etymology, French literature, Balzac, higher education, abusive behaviour, disability equality. London 2013

Dedicated to L.N Acknowledgements I am grateful to L. N. for leading me to avenues for research, and to Ms Julie Bowles, Miss Cecile Mairat and Miss Rachel O'Dowd for their support. I would also like to thank the many people who have helped me to live and given me the energy and encouragement to complete this article. ----------I must point out that any factual errors or sentiment unwittingly suggested are my responsibility alone. The punctuation and typeface of the authors quoted have at times been modified. All rights are reserved. The author's moral rights are asserted. No part of this paper may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the author. © Copyright 2013 Keith Armstrong, London.

1 If I was to write that 'Crétins have studied at the University of London', what would you think of me? Would you think I was a bit arrogant or had a great dislike of university students? I first learned about this issue, when I met an undergraduate studying in London in the early 1990's. She was to scared to reveal her condition to fellow students because of all the abuse she knew she would get. In my view she was right to have this anxiety. Well, if you looked up the word on most web dictionaries or read the entry in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) you might also think so. You could also understand that these days the word is mainly used as a term of extreme verbal abuse. If you looked up the word 'Cretin' on the you would get: 1A Person that is: brainless, stupid, child-like, and full of pointless information that makes no sense and appeals only to other cretins. They can be found in abundance in every single populated Internet forum, where they race to post as many mindnumbing messages as possible in a single session. In addition, they seemingly interbreed with other cretins, ensuring that their cretinous genes continue long after they end up dead meaning the Internet will never be rid of their kind. More's the pity. Jodie and her friends like to post messages on forums about how cool it is to kick cats down stairs and throw banana skins at hungry tramps. Clearly they are cretins and should be eradicated from existence. buy cretin mugs & shirts by Reginald Barrington Feb 12, 2004 and 2A word associated to people whose lack of intelligence, manners /etiquette, appreciation, moral fibre and glaring social ineptitude, which in turn allows upstanding, educated, decent, moral, intelligent, socially respectful and hard working people to perceive them as "degenerates" (owing to their inherent and blatantly obvious flaws). A 'cretin' is usually linked, but not limited to the following include: * Football hooligans who wear specific clothing to associate themselves to 'their' club and make a point that they are looking for trouble e.g. Burberry caps, jeans etc. Also, football hooligans, loudmouths, drunkards etc in general are typically "cretinous". * Ethnic minorities whose objective is to intimidate, steal, sell drugs, flunk off school, spew forth native commonalities in a drudgingly pathetic manner (you know, the usual).

2 * Yobbo teens who try (without success) to appear bigger than they are, sound educated or coherent (impossible) and try (also without success) to get 'one over' on anyone who cretin mugs & shirts idiots social degenerates loudmouths human trash wasters etc by Bob Morten Oct 5, 2005 (retrieved 16th July 2013). While gives us: 'However the true error is made by those who deride the supposed cretins, morons and seven year olds.' 'You have just shown yourself for what you are, a complete and uttercretin. And don't the cretins realize that firework night is 5th November?' ' "Speak properly you stupid ignorant cretin" , she adds flippantly.' 'Little cretins getting angry we wanna save our families from the blitzkrieg bop chorus: is my skin receding?' 'Yet these same cretins support the age of criminal responsibility being ten, one of the lowest figures in the world.' 'Kate shrieks at him and calls him a "sanctimonious cretin'. 'One who unlike the dunderheaded mr aka is not a complete cretin with the brains of a dead amoeba.' (retrieved 16th July 2013). The Independent on Sunday - November 6, 2005

3 So what does the Oxford English Dictionary reveal? [a. French. crétin (in Encycl. 1754), ad. Swiss patois crestin, creitin:—L. ChristiQnum Christian, which in the mod. Romanic langs. (as sometimes dial. in Eng.) means ‘human creature’ as distinguished from the brutes; the sense being here that these beings are really human, though so deformed physically and mentally. So, according to Hatzfeld and Darmesteter, the Cagots are called in Béarn crestiaas.] One of a class of dwarfed and specially deformed idiots found in certain valleys of the Alps and elsewhere. Also in weakened sense (esp. in form crétin): a fool, one who behaves stupidly. "1779 W. Coxe in Ann. note, The species of idiots I have mentioned+who are described by many authors as peculiar to the Vallais, are called Cretins." "1834 Medwin Angler in The Cretin is hardly a human being+They have all immense heads and more immense goitres." "1879 Khorz Princ The offspring of persons with goître are cretins without goître." "1884 W. James Coll. Ess. & Rev. (1920) 270 Bodily commotions+may be experienced in their foulness by Crétins and Philistines in whom the critical judgement is at its lowest ebb." "a 1930 D. H. Lawrence Pornography (1936) The blood in the body stands still, before such crétin ugliness." "1933 James. Joyce Letter 13 Aug. (1966) III. 282 The crétin of a concierge+has misdirected half my mail." "1961 I. Jefferies It wasn't Me ix. 123, I know I'm a moron and a cretin like you're always calling people." Hence cretinage 1820 H. Matthews - Diary of Invalid "Cretinage seems also to be peculiar to mountainous regions." So what has been learned from these sources of knowledge? The major use of the word is highly abusive and it comes from the French and the word was first recorded in the 18th century. Throughout the 18th and the early19th century nobody had any idea what caused cretinism. However H. Matthews in his/hers ' 'Diary of Invalid' entry for 1820 was on the right path. So who are cretins, where do they come from, and where are they today? The French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799 – 1850) is thought by critics to be one of the founders of realism in European literature.. His major work was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled 'La Comédie humaine', which presents a scenery of French life in the years after the downfall of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815. (retrieved 16th July 2013).

4 Part of Balzac's 'La Comédie humaine' is the beautifully written novel 'The Country Doctor' (English translation), which features Cretins and their fate. It is now out of copyright and be freely downloaded from . In the story, the country doctor comes across an Alpine village of poor Cretins and resolves to end their poverty by sending all off to a Paris mental institution 'for their care' and their land is redistributed to neighbouring farmers. Balzac writes: Much as the old cavalry officer had seen in the course of his soldier's career, he felt a thrill of surprise and horror at the sight of a human face which could never have been lighted up with thought--a livid face in which a look of dumb suffering showed so plainly--the same look that is sometimes worn by a child too young to speak, and too weak to cry any longer; in short, it was the wholly animal face of an old dying cretin. The cretin was the one variety of the human species with which the commandant had not yet come in contact. At the sight of the deep, circular folds of skin on the forehead, the sodden, fish-like eyes, and the head, with its short, coarse, scantily-growing hair--a head utterly divested of all the faculties of the senses--who would not have experienced, as Genestas did, an instinctive feeling of repulsion for a being that had neither the physical beauty of an animal nor the mental endowments of man, who was possessed of neither instinct nor reason, and who had never heard nor spoken any kind of articulate speech? It seemed difficult to expend any regrets over the poor wretch now visibly drawing towards the very end of an existence which had not been life in any sense of the word; yet the old woman watched him with touching anxiety, and was rubbing his legs where the hot water did not reach them with as much tenderness as if he had been her husband. Benassis himself, after a close scrutiny of the dull eyes and corpse-like face, gently took the cretin's hand and felt his pulse. Balzac considered that the cause for the condition was caused by a lack of sunlight: Unconsciously he shared the feeling of boundless pity that these hapless creatures excite among the dwellers in the sunless valleys wherein Nature has placed them. His analysis as to the origin of this condition was wrong. But who could blame him at the time when there was no treatment. At least he was not abusive.

5 In an article published in the mid-ninetenth century and published in The Illustrated Christian Weekly of 1873 simply titled "Schools for Idiots" we learn that: The title "idiot," is an instance of the entire change of the meaning of a word when transplanted from one land or one age to another. The Greeks used the primary word to designate a private man, in distinction from one who held office or managed public affairs. Even in old England in the sixteenth century, Jeremy Taylor retained this meaning, "Humility is a duty in great men as well as in idiots." In time this word came to mean a lower order of intellect, or rather those whose minds were unexercised. It was an easy step to the present use of the word, indicating feebleness or imbecility of intellect. There is no language or age which has not an equivalent for "idiot." In Scotland it is "innocent", in Switzerland "cretin." The Illustrated Christian Weekly of 1873 p. 356 [See Appendix for full text]

6 The gives us: The English language has no shortage of cruel names for people, and one of them is cretin, which is what you’d call someone who is very, very dumb (sic) in the head. Back before cretin meant “a stupid person,” it was a medical term for a physical deformity that came from a specific disease. Surprisingly, the root of cretin is the Swiss French word crestin, which means “Christian.” It seems that people back then wanted to remind themselves that even though cretins look unusual, they’re still humans who deserve kindness. Knowing this makes it hard to use cretin in a mean way, but there are plenty more rude words you could use. (retrieved 16th July 2013). Several researchers consider that the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica is a better source for study than some later editions. In its entry for Cretinism tells us that: The term given to a chronic disease,arising in early childhood, and due to absence or deficiency of the normal secretion of the thyroid gland.The thyroid gland is either congenitally absent, imperfectly developed, or there is definite goitre. It continues; The endemic form of cretinism prevails in certain districts, as in the valleys of central Switzerland, Tirol and the Pyrenees. In the United Kingdom cretins have been found in Derbyshire; endemic goitre has been seen near Nottingham,and the mountainous parts of Staffordshire, Yorkshire, Cumberland,Worcester, Warwick, Cheshire, Monmouth,Leicester, Hampshire,Surrey,Buckinghamshire and Somerset [...] Cretins and cases of goitre have been seen in Scotland also The disease is not confined to Europe, but occurs in North and South America, Australia, Africa and Asia. Wherever endemic goitre is present, endemic cretinism is present also, and it has been constantly observed that when a new family moves into a goitrous district, goitre appears in the first generation, cretinism in the second. The causation of goitre has now been shown to be due to drinking Glacial waters.The causation of the sporadic form of cretinism is, however, obscure.

7 ibid Cretinism usually remains unrecognized until the child reaches some eighteen months or two years.The skeleton shows arrested growth, most marked in the case of the long bones. ibid Before 1891 there was no treatment for this disease. The patients lived in hopeless imbecility until their death. But in that year Dr George Murray published his discovery of the effect of hypodermic injections of thyroid gland extract in cases of myxoedema. In the following year Drs Hector Mackenzie, E. L. Fox of Plymouth, and Howitz of Copenhagen, each working independently, showed the equally potent effect of the gland administered by the mouth. The remedy was soon after applied to cretinism and its effects were found to be even more wonderful.The administration must be persisted in throughout life, otherwise myxoedematous symptoms appear. The first most apparent results are those of growth, and this may supervene even in patients up to 25-30 years of age. Once started, 4 to 6 in. may be gained in stature in the first year's treatment, though this is usually in inverse ratio to the age of the patient, and also diminishes in later stages of treatment. In young adolescents it may be so rapid that the patient has to be kept lying down to prevent permanent bending of the long bones of the leg, softened by their rapid growth. A very typical case under Dr Hector Mackenzie, showing what can be expected from early treatment, is that of a cretin aged 11 years in 1893, when thyroid treatment was started. He grew very rapidly and became a normal child, passed through school, and in 1908 was at one of the universities. 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cretinism Volume 7 %C3%A6dia_Britannica/Cretinism (retrieved 26th September 2013). So we learn from a widely read Encyclopædia published in 1911 that the first Cretin to go to university in Europe was in 1908. The whole article is well worth reading although it is stuck in the negative attitudes of its' time. Wikipedia reveals that: Cretinism arises from a diet deficient in iodine. It has affected many people worldwide and continues to be a major public health problem in many countries. Iodine is an essential trace element, necessary primarily for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency is the most common preventable cause of brain damage worldwide. Although iodine is found in many foods, it is not universally present in all soils in adequate amounts. Most iodine, in iodide form, is in the oceans where the iodide ions oxidize to

8 elemental iodine, which then enters the atmosphere and falls to earth as rain, introducing iodine to soils. Earth deficient in iodine is most common inland and in mountainous areas and areas of frequent flooding, but can also occur in coastal regions owing to past glaciation, and leaching by snow, water and heavy rainfall, which removes iodine from the soil. Plants and animals grown in iodine deficient soils are correspondingly deficient. Populations living in those areas without outside food sources are most at risk of iodine diseases. (retrieved 16th July 2013). Google lists over 3,670,000 mentions of the word "Cretin" (retrieved 16th July 2013). The London student I met got a very good degree result, she is no fool in any sense of the word. Her condition is simply mentained by the taking of one tablet once a day. If she stopped taking the medication water would travel to the top of her brain, the weight of the fluid would cause brain damage. In the main users of the word 'cretin' in a abusive context are students or ex-pupils from English Public Schools* and from scientists. Both are predominately male. So in conclusion people who use the word 'cretin' as a term of abuse are just plain ignorant themselves. Now in 2013, Cretins have been getting university degrees for over 105 years, isn't it about time this verbal abuse ends? * It is ironic that on the whole English Public Schools are not for the public. They are for the education of children with wealthy parents. Basically what happens with someone who has the condition of Cretinism (medical term) if they are untreated, or do not take a daily Iodine tablet, is that water seeps to the top of the brain and its physical weight causes brain damage. Although the medical situation is more complicated than that. Add UNESCO at end. Cretinism occurs in all mountainous regions of the world whose waters are derived mainly from glaciers.

9 LINKS On the Ground : with Nicholas D. Kristof - How to Increase Your I.Q. UNICEF: Global progress in reducing iodine deficiency For a Few Pennies More - Indonesia The International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) Global Network is a non-profit, non-government organization for the sustainable elimination of iodine deficiency worldwide. Global Iodine Nutrition Scorecard for 2012 .pdf * It is ironic that on the whole English Public Schools are not for the public. They are for the education of children with wealthy parents.

10 References 1 (retrieved 16th July 2013). 2 (retrieved 16th July 2013). 3 (retrieved 16th July 2013). 4 The Independent on Sunday - November 6, 2005 5 Oxford English Dictionary 6 (retrieved 16th July 2013). 7 The Illustrated Christian Weekly of 1873 p. 356 8 (retrieved 16th July 2013). 9 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cretinism Volume 7 (retrieved 26th September 2013). 10 (retrieved 16th July 2013). 11 Google. (retrieved 16th July 2013).

11 Appendix 1 The Cagots Wikipedia tells us that: The Cagots were a persecuted and despised minority found in the west of France and northern Spain. Evidence of the group exists back as far as AD 1000. The Cagots were shunned and hated. They were required to live in separate quarters in towns, called cagoteries, which were often on the far outskirts of the villages. Cagots were excluded from all political and social rights. They were only allowed to enter a church by a special door, and during the service a rail separated them from the other worshipers. Either they were altogether forbidden to partake of the sacrament, or the Eucharist was given to them on the end of a wooden spoon, while a holy water stoup was reserved for their exclusive use. They were compelled to wear a distinctive dress, to which, in some places, was attached the foot of a goose or duck (whence they were sometimes called "Canards"). So pestilential was their touch considered that it was a crime for them to walk the common road barefooted or to drink from the same cup as non-Cagots. The Cagots were restricted to the trades of carpentry, butchery, and rope-making. The Cagots were not an ethnic group, nor a religious group. They spoke the same language as the people in an area and generally kept the same religion as well. Their only distinguishing feature was their descent from families identified as Cagots. Few consistent reasons were given as to why they should be hated; accusations varied from Cagots being cretins, lepers, heretics, cannibals, to simply being intrinsically evil. The Cagots did have a culture of their own, but very little of it was written down or preserved; as a result, almost everything that is known about them relates to their persecution.[4] Their cruel treatment lasted through the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Industrial Revolution, with the prejudice fading only in the 19th and 20th centuries. (retrived 27/9/2013)

12 Appendix 2 The Illustrated Christian Weekly article of 1873 titled: "Schools for Idiots" The title "idiot," is an instance of the entire change of the meaning of a word when transplanted from one land or one age to another. The Greeks used the primary word to designate a private man, in distinction from one who held office or managed public affairs. Even in old England in the sixteenth century, Jeremy Taylor retained this meaning, "Humility is a duty in great men as well as in idiots." In time this word came to mean a lower order of intellect, or rather those whose minds were unexercised. It was an easy step to the present use of the word, indicating feebleness or imbecility of intellect. There is no language or age which has not an equivalent for "idiot." In Scotland it is "innocent", in Switzerland "cretin." No attempt to benefit this unfortunate class of beings was made, until about the seventeenth century, when a pious monk devoted himself to their instruction, with little apparent success, save as it opened the way for more extensive observation and experiment. The name of Dr. Edward Seguin stands foremost among those, who in later times have made this malady the philosophical study of their lives. He assumed the fact that idiocy is a prolonged infancy, in which the infantile grace and intelligence having passed away, the feeble muscular development and mental weakness alone remain. Other physicians had insisted upon disease, or malformation of the brain as a cause of idiocy. Whatever may be said of these comparative theories, it is true that Dr. Seguin's practical success has been very great. He began his instructions with what an infant would notice; simple articles of bright colours are placed before the imbecile pupil, who, by degrees learns to assort colours, as for instance, a red ball must be put into a red cup, a yellow ball into a yellow cup. Next comes "blocks", by which lessons can be given in form, number, and size. Then words, not letters first, and their meaning by pictures. Later still, the voice and speech is patiently cultivated, and brought under control of the will. Gymnastic exercises and use of dumb-bells educate the hand, foot, and eye, until by slow degrees attention is gained and the weak mind passes from material objects to abstract ideas.

13 There are school for idiots conducted on Dr. Seguin's general plan variously modified, in many of the continental European countries, in England and America. In the State of New York there is a State Institution for Idiots located at Syracuse, where the children of the poor may receive aid and instruction. The English schools are perhaps the most organised and carried out, and so great success has followed these careful labors that the results are almost incredible. The concept consist of a physical, industrial and intellectual training, the pupils to a great extent mingling school-room duties with busy, active, practical lives. One institution in England, "The Idiot Colony, at Caterham," is carried on in the scale of a small village, where every pupil may follow out some peculiar and congenial branch of industry. Skilful cooks and house servants keep the internal arrangements in nicest orders while gardeners, farmers, mechanics and artisans make the outer life blooming and beautiful. The aim is to prepare every pupil for some one branch of industry, thus transforming the poor helpless idiot into a self-supporting and even useful member of society. Our picture presents a view of a shop-school where the principles of buying and selling are explained and practised. The shop-school is a favorite, though few pupils seem to have any clear idea of the most common customs of daily life. Counter scales are placed upon a table, and one pupil is appointed shopkeeper. A number of labelled drawers contain such articles as are in most frequent use, such as tea, sugar, rice, &c. The class are furnished with small change, and come in turn to purchase as they fancy, while the shopkeeper weighs out, receives pay, gives change, as in any ordinary transaction. It is found that the idea of figures is the most difficult for feeble minds to grasp.

14 A fearful malady exists in the villages of the Alps, caused it is supposed by certain properties in the water of the streams, which affect the powers of the mind as well as the body. Through long-continued intermarriages this disease has increased rapidly during the past century, and in some villages half of the inhabitants are idiots, or "cretins." A young Swiss doctor was once strolling through the mountains, when he noticed an aged cretin of very idiotic appearance, stop in his tottering walk and kneel before a wayside cross, muttering incoherent sounds, meant for prayer. As the doctor walked on, he thought of the one spark of intellect in the poor imbecile's mind, to give him a glimmering sense of a Being to whom prayer could be offered. He exclaimed, "In each of these poor cretins there must be an immortal soul, and with God's blessing I will devote my life to their deliverance."

15 A Cretin Hospital stands on a green and sunny slope near Interlaken, as the result of this determination, persistently carried out by amazing labor and struggle against difficulty. And here Doctor Guggenbuhl has been permitted to restore many poor cretins to their friends, strengthened in body and mind. He is an enthusiast in his work, and perhaps overestimates the practical effect of his teachings. It has however, led to the establishement of five other institutions for cretins, as distinguished from idiots.

Media by Keith Armstrong Classical history Emperor Claudius I the man: his physical impairment and reactions to it by Keith Armstrong "Challenges the suggestion that both Emperor Claudius I and Franklin Delano Roosevelt had Polio. Both world leaders had major physical impairments before they came to public office." t_and_reactions_to_it_by_Keith_Armstrong India and Sri Lanka in the time of the Roman Julio-Claudians by Keith Armstrong o-Claudians_by_Keith_Armstrong A few words about the word the 'claudius': An etymological journey; five short essays on the word 'claudius' by Keith Armstrong ological_journey_Five_short_essays_on_the_word_claudius-_Keith_Armstrong Etymology The Old English Origin of the Word Cripple Revised by Keith Armstrong Linguistics, Etymology, Anglo-Saxon, Bible Studies, Disability Studies, Latin, Lindisfarne Gospels, Old English ed_-_Keith_Armstrong

A history of the word handicap extended by Keith Armstrong Linguistics, Etymology, Disability Studies, history, US & UK English, biology, Oxford English Dictionary, eugenics, euthanasia, 1915, The Atlantic Monthly,history of sport mstrong ded_by_Keith_Armstrong A few words about the word the claudius An etymological journey five short essays on the word claudius by Keith Armstrong Claudius or Claudia as a personal or first name, The word 'claudius' and it many meanings in Latin, The word 'claudius' as used in Old and Medieval English, The word 'claudius' in the Cymraeg-Welsh language, The word claudius as used in Anatomical Biological and Medical terms ological_journey_Five_short_essays_on_the_word_claudius-_Keith_Armstrong Transport Travelling behind Bars - rail travel in 1980's Early 19th Century bicycles Bicycles and manual wheelchairs - a short history Transport & Disability Issues (Audio) - Transport & building design USA

Voices on accessible public transport part one (Audio) Transport issues USA Voices on accessible public transport part two (Audio) Transport issues USA A Review of the Alder Valley North Careline Accessible Bus Service 1986 by Keith Armstrong London's first hourly accessible bus service ssible_Bus_Service_1986_by_Keith_Armstrong Literature Informer International Poetry Magazine No 8: 1968 Edited by Keith Armstrong and David Gill Content Details P5-6 Break Ice For The Wild Swan, article by Hugh McKinley P7-11 Poems by Ondra Lysohorsky (translated by Hugh McKinley) The Sun, On Lysohorsa, Town On The Black Sea, In The Quarry, The House, The Tree, The Tuner P11 A Slav Poet, article by Boris Pasternak P12-18 Poems by Ondra Lysohorsky (translated by Lydia Pasternak Slater) Vegetable Market In Ostrava, Ponds of Hrusov, Venetian Bridges, Beethoven In The Desert, Summer, Room In Tashkent, DragonFly In Autumn, By The Open Window, In The Ukraine (For Alexander Dowzhenko), Mahatma Gandhi, Poetry (For Charles Baudelaire) Holderlin P19-25 Poems by Ondra Lysohorsky (translated by Ewald Osers) Universe And History, Rhymes?, Early Spring, Dawn, John Huss, Swallow In Poitiers, Ballad Of Jan Pallach, Student And Heretic P26-27 Review by David Gill (The White Hind by David Morrison) P27- Night Has Fallen by Georg Coombs, OMNES by John Fleming, Plea by Wanda Allen Moore, Answer To An Invitation by Lydia Pasternak Slater P28- Message To An Unborn Infant by Martin Booth P29-33 Review by R.G (Junior poems, Stroud Festival 1968, Review Eastern Lovesong And Other Poems by Violet Bowen, Review Living Poetry by Claire May Overy, Review World Aflame by Billy Graham P35- Evergreen, Message and Sierre Madre by Iain Sinclair, Fruit Salad by Lydia Pasternak Slater

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