Who's heard of a "paideic community"?

And what is it?

I am the editor, and I know a lot of words, if I do say so myself. Essentially, the view of my boss is that if I have to look up a word, the word is pretty darned obscure.

I couldn’t even FIND this one. I think I found its root, though.

So I’d be interested to know if this group has heard of it. If I get enough affirmative responses, who knows, I may even let the author keep it.

I’m an editor, plus over-educated and well-read, and it gets a big fat “can’t even guess” from me.

Thanks, twickster, I am sharpening my blue pencil in anticipation! I think this word is over the top.

No – it’s a rare word, but it’s legitimate. As long as the author is not going way over the heads of his/her intended audience, it should be allowed to stand, IMHO.

Paideic is the adjectival form of the noun paideia. The root “paid-” is the same as the “p[a]ed-” in “encyclop[a]edia”, as I’m sure you have already detemined…

Googling “paideic” leads to links about the book Paltini’s Diary: A Paideic Model in Humanist Culture. A synopsis of the book will help demonstrate legitimate uses of the word “paideic”:

I don’t know what it means, but I’ve heard the word. A friend of mine went to a school called Paideia.


vix, is that in Atlanta? That was the first thing I thought of when I read the thread.


(Bolding added).

Context is absolutely all on this. My first assumption was that it would be way over the audience’s head – thus my categorical “don’t do it.” It does, however, definitely depend on the type of piece it appears in. USA Today – don’t. Harper’s – fine, but make sure he or she is doing a long explanation of the term up front.

I like learning new words – but in my biz, obscurity is usually the sign of laziness or incompetence.

YMMV, of course.

Seems like it has a highly defined meaning in certain contexts, a meaning which is better served by this word than by others. It sounds like it has legitimate modern uses, especially in reference to an education system. From the OED:

bordelond, if it’s a legitimate word, how come the -ic ending isn’t given in the dictionary, as it is for, say, onomatopoeic?

Also, if my reading of this word is giving the correct definition, if paideia is humanistic training in such a way as to give a broad, rounded and mature outlook, then it’s being used wrong in this case; the writer is looking for something more like “close-knit community,” I think. But the point is, I’m not entirely sure.

Now, I like words, and I’m always open to learning a new one. But I’m also a fan of conveying, when writing, what you mean to convey. Granted that this writer is an academic, the audience is somewhat broader, the point here is that I am not completely sure what he meant.

That’s why I thought I would ask here. Aside from the school in Atlanta, have you ever heard of this word before?


Did I mention that i are a editor?

Well, according to my OED cite, in 2002 there were around 40 such schools in the US.

Read this and weep.