Saturday, February 24, 2007

Speaking Out of Both Sides of Your Mouth!
(or, Two-Faced!)



According to the Cambridge Dictionary of Idioms, the term, "to speak out of both side of one's mouth" means, "to say different things about the same subject when you are with different people in order to always please the people you are with." Then, the example that follows the definition is: "How can we trust any politicians when we know they're speaking out of both sides of their mouths?" What I found interesting was the relationship that the dictionary drew between the "untrustworthy" and the "politian." It's funny how the dictionary applied the term "speaking out of both sides of your mouth" to a politician and then labeled such a one, "untrustworthy."

What forced me to look up this particular idiom was what I believed the following statement was saying--a statement posted on the Westminster Theological Seminary homepage:

"Dr. Samuel Logan left the Westminster community at the end of January 2007. In appreciation and acknowledgment of Dr. Logan’s 27 years of devoted service to Westminster, we are honored to name him President and Professor of Church History Emeritus" (my italics).

A "President and Professor of Church History Emeritus" who's "[not part of] the community?" Hmmm? Interesting...

13 comments:

Jerry Fourroux said...

I have thought the same as well. Great site, Matt.

luskwater said...

From Wikipedia's definition of emeritus: "The term is used when a person of importance in a given profession retires, so that his or her former rank can still be used in his or her title. This is particularly useful when establishing the authority a person might have to comment, lecture or write on a particular subject."

Sounds appropriate to me: leaving the community with merit, having served well.

Matthew Paul Buccheri said...

Luskwater,

If you're trying to pick up on the fact that Sam was still named, "Emeritus," I agree! My only point was the "Freudian slip" of naming one emeritus and saying that he "left the community." Maybe with emeritus status one's voting rights are no longer, but separate from the community? I don't know...

Anonymous said...

Actually, Logan's situation isn't extraordinary. Retiring professors who acquire emeritus status lose voting privileges, teach only a very limited load (if they teach at all), and often move, etc.

But of course, normally you don't become retired/emeritus until you're around 65 or 70.

Anonymous said...

Matt, perhaps you would care to tell us what right you have to comment on the relationship between Dr. Logan and Westminster? Your comment also implies criticism of the Seminary based on some knowledge of the situation there. Perhaps you could tell us what the source of your information is.

Matthew Paul Buccheri said...

To my anonymous friend,

First, as a reader of the WTS website and a former student of the institution, I have all the right to comment on a statement that the seminary posted on their website. I didn't post the "freudian slip"...they did! The critcism is based solely on the post on their website (or didn't you read what I said!). So, if you have a problem with my criticism, call WTS and tell them to reword it and I will have no problem deleting my post.

Anonymous said...

What Westminster has done is to honor their former president. But I'm still puzzled why you are so distressed Matt.

Matthew Paul Buccheri said...

To my anonymous friend (again),

I am not "distressed." I am simply pointing out the inconsistancy in WTS's language. Moreover, try to understand, it's their faux pas, not mine. Lastly, I would ask you to go back and read my post. All it did was highlight a bad choice of words.

Anonymous said...

Matt again....

Dr. Logan is no longer involved in the life of Westminster. The seminary has honored him for past service. End of story....

There are no Freudian slips...no hidden agendas....No need for you to have drawn attention to the situation in the way that you did.

Matthew Paul Buccheri said...

To my anonymous friend,

Your "end of story" statement says to me that you are the one "distressed." (But that assumes that I've been interacting with the same anonymous commenter.) Feel free to come out from under the veil of anonymity and contact me directly to further discuss this. And lastly, I only drew attention to what the current administration of WTS allowed to be posted on their website. So, that is the "END [THE] OF STORY!"

JD said...

Not all the anonymous statements are by the same fellow--I wrote the first one about the meaning of emeritus status. I wrote it anonymously out of laziness, no particular reason. I did not write any of the others though.

Matthew Paul Buccheri said...

No problem Justin! I wasn't referring back to that comment (a good insight though). I was referring to the handful from today. People need to remember that when they post anonymously, they are allowing for any assumption to be made about their identity (rightly or wrongly). Moreover, it's a cowardly tactic, especially if you want to disagree with someone who has made a public statement.

Michael Balboni, boston, MA said...

I'm also a former graduate of WTS. What is a bit frustrating about the blogging in this site is that it illustrates insider vs. outsider knowledge. Obviously something controversial and difficult happened at WTS and Dr. Logan. I personally have no idea what happened. I'm frustrated that I have heard things through the grapevine that there are problems at westminster... and yet little acknowledgement of it publically. We need discretion but it is almost always better to clarify than to mystify. Your blog illustrates the tension over this issue; but you also clearly attempted to bring attention to an issue that is not being acknowledged more directly. I dislike passive-aggresive stuff exhibited both on the wts website and through your blog. Can we state the truth or not state anything at all? thanks