Am I a genius? I don’t think so. Not yet anyway. As Burt would put it, mocking the euphemisms of educational jargon, I’m exceptional — a democratic term used to avoid the damning labels of gifted and deprived (which used to mean bright and retarded) and as soon as exceptional begins to mean anything to anyone they’ll change it. The idea seems to be: use an expression only as long as it doesn’t mean anything to anybody. Exceptional refers to both ends of the spectrum, so all my life I’ve been exceptional.

Daniel F. Keyes (1927-2014) American author
“Flowers for Algernon” (1959)
Added on 13-May-09 | Last updated 13-May-09
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