Originally Posted by Chapallaz
A black man showing his education = pretentious.
Awhite man doing the same= douche.
What kind of controversy are you looking for here? They mean essentially the same thing. In fact, the words are often used together as in: "pretentious douche" I just have never personally heard an African-American called a douche in this context. But, yes Hill was being a douche.
There's a difference between showing your education and trying to show off how smart you are. As somebody said, Hill clearly wrote his editorial for the NYT audience. That's fine. But there's a difference between demonstrating that one is intelligent, literate, and educated and being obnoxious, and a good writer knows when he's crossed that line. As a wise educator once said, using the biggest words doesn't prove you have the most biggest mind.
But, to demonstrate the difference between showing the ability to write intelligently and being a pretentious douche, here are three ways of expressing the same statement:
1. I don't have much money right now (normal, conversational English: fine)
2. I am currently facing some financial hardship (intelligent, well-written English: fine)
3. I am presently in a pusillanimous state (douche!)
See the difference?