Monday, January 31, 2011

Deep Thoughts XXXI

The adequate is good enough.

[If I wrote in a letter of recommendation that someone was an adequate candidate that would probably the kiss of death. But why? Putative explanation 1: It is a tautology that the adequate is good enough. However, it is only a tautology if the same context is held fixed throughout the sentence. Thus, someone might be adequate as a student, but not good enough for admission to a highly competitive program. Putative explanation 2: Letters of recommendation are overblown.]

1 comment:

philotheos said...

Or perhaps to be selected for a good job, you have to be more than capable for the job, i.e. you are capable of advancing much further than the starting position. Adequate could be short form for "merely adequate", viz. good enough for the initial position [but unlikely to go further].