On the Future of our Educational Institutions

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 27

badly as it is just possible to do so in
an age of newspaper German: that is why the growing youth who happens
to be both noble and gifted has to be taken by force and put under the
glass shade of good taste and of severe linguistic discipline. If this
is not possible, I would prefer in future that Latin be spoken; for I
am ashamed of a language so bungled and vitiated.

"What would be the duty of a higher educational institution, in this
respect, if not this--namely, with authority and dignified severity to
put youths, neglected, as far as their own language is concerned, on
the right path, and to cry to them: 'Take your own language seriously!
He who does not regard this matter as a sacred duty does not possess
even the germ of a higher culture. From your attitude in this matter,
from your treatment of your mother-tongue, we can judge how highly or
how lowly you esteem art, and to what extent you are related to it. If
you notice no physical loathing in yourselves when you meet with
certain words and tricks of speech in our journalistic jargon, cease
from striving after culture; for here in your immediate vicinity, at
every moment of your life, while you are either speaking or writing,
you have a touchstone for testing how difficult, how stupendous, the
task of the cultured man is, and how very improbable it must be that
many of you will ever attain to culture.'

"In accordance with the spirit of this address, the teacher of German
at a public school would be forced to call his pupil's attention to
thousands of details, and with the absolute certainty of good taste,
to forbid their using such words and expressions, for instance, as:
'_beanspruchen_,' '_vereinnahmen_,' '_einer Sache Rechnung tragen_,'
'_die Initiative ergreifen_,' '_selbstverstaendlich_,'[3] etc., _cum
taedio in infinitum_. The same teacher would also have to take our
classical authors and show, line for line, how carefully and with what
precision every expression has to be chosen when a writer has the
correct feeling in his heart and has before his eyes a perfect
conception of all he is writing. He would necessarily urge his pupils,
time and again, to express the same thought ever more happily; nor
would he have to abate in rigour until the less gifted in his class
had contracted an unholy fear of their language, and the others had
developed great enthusiasm for it.

"Here then is a task for so-called 'formal' education[4] [the
education tending to develop the mental faculties, as opposed to
'material' education,[5] which

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50.
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" 223.
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.
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242.
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We men are--more human.