“We were in the middle of a lesson on syntax when Ben – the most unassuming guy in the class – said, ‘This is boring,’” said Vetrol.
According to colleagues, whom Vetrol brought in to consult, Ben indeed spoke perfect Candor.
“His diction and inflection were perfect,” said Latin scholar Wendy Saddler. “It was like he’d been speaking Candor his whole life – like he was right off the boat.”
According to most language experts, Honesty (or “Candorese” as some researchers prefer) died about fifteen years ago when standardized testing in high schools eliminated students’ ability to express their own opinions.
“It’s been at least a decade in my classes since anyone gave a thoughtful response to, ‘What did you think of the reading?’” said Vetrol. “Most students look to others to gauge their opinions before voicing anything out loud. When I first heard Ben say something real, I dismissed it as mishearing. Later, when he said, ‘This is fun but I don’t think I’ll ever use it in the real world,’ I knew I’d stumbled on a linguist’s dream.”
Initial studies of Ben have led to a number of contrasting theories.
“I believe that Ben’s diagnosis of Asperger syndrome may be a sign that he is predisposed to Candor at a level his peers simply can’t hope to reach,” said one professor who interviewed Ben for over six hours. “Ben told me my tie didn’t match my outfit and that I would have more luck connecting with him if I brushed my teeth. Brilliant!”
“Ben told me my PowerPoint slides were a mess and I could probably engage students more if I used better questioning techniques,” said another professor. “I’ve been asking students for years why they wouldn’t stop using their smartphones in class, and in two seconds Ben gave me a new lease on teaching.”
No word on whether Language Studies Department Chair Leonard Sparks’ plea to Ben to change his major to Rhetoric has been successful.
“He told me he thought that was a stupid idea but could have financial benefit,” said Sparks. “I couldn’t agree more.”