For certain people, it's a fate worst than death and unspeakably ghastly.
To others, it's a linguistic anachronism never previously encountered, and all the more beguiling as a result.
To be rusticated, you see, means being suspended or sent down from university as a punishment. As its root is rustic, presumably this means returning, Sebastian Flyte-style, to the country pile to lick one's wounds in a melancholic stupor. Naturally it's commonly used at Oxbridge but, as we report today, it has entered the campus lexicon at Glasgow University.
Two unnamed male students have been informed they risk rustication for shouting sexist comments about the physical appearance of two female finalists in the Glasgow Ancients debating competition, interrupting their speeches.
The women involved clearly aren't used to this sort of thing and have taken drastic action. Given that this is Glasgow, though, the offenders aren't about to be sent to the country; they're to be banned from their union for life – which basically means they will no longer have the privilege of drinking alcohol at rock-bottom prices. To many in this part of the world, that is indeed a fate worse than being forced to go back to living rent-free with mum and dad.
They should count themselves lucky. At least they can remain students. In India, a male student was rusticated from college altogether after the authorities found two pornography CDs in his schoolbag. And a girl was also rusticated for a week for carrying a mobile phone in hers.
Normally I'd say bad behaviour in such a hallowed place as the debating chamber should not go unpunished. But, for bringing to our attention the meaning of rustication and all its quaint connotations, they should be applauded.
Rustication scans nicely with mastication. There are worse fates than being put out to pasture while everyone ruminates on real life.
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