“There is clearly a universal eligibility to be rational and literate. Sometimes snobbery is forced upon you. So let’s have a period of exaggerated respect for reason; and let’s look down on people who use language without respecting it. Liars and hypocrites and demagogues, of course, but also their fellow travelers in verbal cynicism, inertia, and sloth.”
—Martin Amis, The Rub of Time, a beautiful sentiment, especially the idea of rationality and literacy being universally available but not, as we can see, universally adopted. I want to start citing that one when I hear people denigrate standards. To join the clerisy you need no special degrees and there are no gatekeepers; you only need books, and time, and your mind.