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A recent addition to the Bartleby.com reference site, the New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy is intended to raise its readers' level of erudition. As editor J.D. Hirsch states in the introduction, cultural literacy is helpful, but does not in itself produce a truly educated person. Hirsch writes, "Cultural literacy is shallow; true education is deep. But our analysis of reading and learning suggests the paradox that broad, shallow knowledge is the best route to deep knowledge." Certainly, understanding that Camelot refers to both Arthurian legend and U.S. President John F. Kennedy's administration makes one feel smarter. While it is possible to search the 6,900 entries in the Dictionary, users may find it easier to use the Index to browse from A-Z. Another good approach is to start with the Table of Contents, where there are 23 short explanations of broader areas, with links to relevant entries arranged below, such as Conventions of Written English, where you can learn the difference between the commonly misused abbreviations i.e. and e.g.
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