WASHINGTON—According to an alarming new report published Thursday by the National Center for Education Research, the majority of American students do not possess the language skills and vocabulary necessary to belittle their classmates in an effective manner.
The report, based on observations of more than 500,000 students around the country from kindergarten through 12th grade, concludes that while most can easily perceive weakness and vulnerability in their fellow schoolchildren, their rudimentary linguistic capabilities routinely prevent them from mocking the appearance, personality, or athletic ability of others in such a way that those individuals are reduced to tears and suffer chronically low self-esteem.
“Unfortunately, most of our students are finishing high school with only a fifth-grade ability to shame and deride their peers,” said report co-author and educational psychologist Joyce Marrone, observing that most graduates cannot string together two sentences about a classmate’s lisp or general weirdness with enough proficiency to completely devastate them. “While they know how to identify a loser, they lack the semantic tools to articulate exactly why that person is so lame, ugly, or stupid.”
“For example, millions of students can make the basic observation that a classmate is a gaywad,” she continued, “but very few are able to take the next step of making a logical, persuasive argument as to why their fellow student licks so many dicks.”
Researchers reportedly visited schools in more than a dozen states to record student interactions between classes and at recess, discovering that attempts to tear into a less popular peer were often marred by a limited rhetorical aptitude. In one case, students were reportedly able to form short, declarative sentences indicating that a classmate smelled bad, but they could not create a broader critique suggesting that the odor probably resulted from the classmate wearing the same Sears clothes every day, and that this was in turn likely the result of his mom being poor, on welfare, and perhaps even a prostitute.
According to the report, such logical reasoning skills are essential if students are to have any hope of making their classmates dread returning to school every day, or of motivating other children to gang up on the despised persons to ensure they never feel comfortable simply being themselves.
“The sad reality is that our students just haven’t developed a rich enough understanding of language to express the contempt they feel toward someone who’s nerdy, a spaz, or completely gross,” said Marrone, adding that the average eighth-grader knows only two synonyms for “slut.” “American educators should be gravely concerned that most middle schoolers don’t even grasp simile and metaphor firmly enough to ridicule a person’s weight by likening him or her to a cow, a whale, or a pile of excrement.”
“And even fewer understand the principles of alliteration enough to call such a person a fat-faced fuck,” she added.
By early elementary school, the report recommends, children should start forming the analytical capacity to take cheap shots at the denseness or dumb-looking face of anyone who is different than they are. The researchers warned development delays in this area all but ensure students will reach adolescence without the rudimentary rhyming skills required, for example, to bully a boy named Aiden by calling him Gayden, or the facility with wordplay needed to humiliate a girl named Sarah Wilcox by calling her Sarah Will-suck-cocks.
The report urges educators to help students master the fundamental verbal slights that will allow them to subtly question a female’s competence or snidely remark on a male’s perceived lack of masculinity, noting the relevance of such skills outside the classroom.
Said Marrone, “If they don’t achieve linguistic proficiency while in school, they’ll never develop the gossiping, bad-mouthing, or shit-talking skills they’ll need to succeed in the workforce.”