Merriam-Webster picked sciolism as yesterday’s word of the day. It’s a noun that means “a superficial show of learning” or “superficial knowledge”. Merriam-Webster explains that sciolism traces back to the Latin word scire, which means “to know”:
Of course, if you know something about Latin roots, you know that "scire" is the source of many other English words, including "science," "prescience" ("foreknowledge"), "nescience" ("lack of knowledge"), and "conscience."
When I think of superficial knowledge, I think of quiz shows (like Jeopardy!) that give contestants money for knowing useless trivia. Especially today, when everything known to man is available at your fingertips, memorizing trivia is just a waste of brain space! Meanwhile, schools still promote sciolism by forcing students to memorize names, dates and math formulas. I got through many math classes by memorizing everything, without truly understanding anything. But this is still called education, not sciolism. Does anyone else see this as a problem?