Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The New Republic posts a CV from Adam Wheeler, who had bluffed his way into Harvard and now wanted an internship with TNR. TNR is scornful because Wheeler claims to speak French, Old English, Classical Armenian and Old Persian.

Er, the CV doesn't actually say this. What it says is:


French | Old English | Classical Armenian | Old Persian

I have no idea whether Wheeler actually had any kind of knowledge of the languages in question - he may have picked at least a couple where his knowledge was unlikely to be challenged by someone who actually did know them. To tell the truth, though, I frequently include Ancient Greek and Latin under languages on my CV; it has never occurred to me that this implied a claim to speak either.


Matt said...

Thank you. I thought the same thing when I read that. Depressing too that TNR deems it so unlikely a college student could have mastered all those. I knew someone who had at least three of those four (and several others) under his belt by the time he graduated.

Artur Jachacy said...

Well, claims that someone is able to actually speak an ancient language always have to be taken with a grain of salt, haven't they?

Helen DeWitt said...

Perhaps - I've never actually come across someone who made such a claim. The person who sent in this CV, anyway, did not make this claim; it was imputed to him by people who had not bothered to think about what normally counts as competence for such languages.