Stanley Kurtz has a story in NRO today about the University of San Francisco's attempt to shut down a very small 'Great Books' program at Campion College, founded by refugees from a similar program at U.S.F., the Saint Ignatius Institute. (U.S.F. had already shut down S.I.I.) Among other things that will shock only those unfamiliar with academe, he reports this juicy tidbit:
Donna Davis, general counsel of the University of San Francisco has issued a letter demanding that Campion College "cease and desist" from even mentioning on the Campion College website that Campion "arose" from the Saint Ignatius Institute.
If Campion College wants to play hardball, they could always make their website refer to "a Great Books course at a certain
University in San Francisco
which shall remain nameless for legal reasons" or something along those lines. There are ways to get across the necessary information without stating it in words, and these ways have the added effect of embarrassing the side that called in the lawyers. (I've always had a soft spot for the obscene acrostic, though I have yet to insert one in this blog. No need to go looking for them.)
Around 1980 or so I saw a man picketing an office building (in downtown San Francisco, as it happens) with a sign that said something along the lines of "I hired Joe Schmoe, lawyer, and regretted it". I assume that it had a deleterious effect on Schmoe's business -- people were certainly staring and pointing -- while at the same time leaving the picketer utterly impervious to charges of libel. (Or is it slander when the words are carried around on a sign? Ask a lawyer.)
By the way, U.S.F. can hardly ask Campion College to delete their name from the curricula vitarum of their faculty, can they? Many colleges post these on their web-sites, and that would help get the message across.
What is the plural of curriculum vitae? Surely curricula vitarum ("courses of lives"), as above, if they are plural resumés of plural people, curricula vitae ("courses of life") if they are plural resumés of a single person, like the ones on my hard drive. Either sounds horribly pretentious, even to this Latin teacher, but apostrophes aren't supposed to be used to make plurals, so "c.v.'s" and "cv's" are surely wrong, while "c.v.s" and "cvs" are ugly and nearly unintelligible. Maybe I should just call them resumés. But then there's the question of whether to put an accent on the first syllable, as so many do. Language is a harsh mistress.Posted by Dr. Weevil at March 13, 2002 10:00 PM