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.
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?