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February 11, 2013

It sets me on edge to hear people refer to themselves as "devout" Catholics. Adjectives modify nouns, and some nouns are sturdy enough to stand on their own.

I understand the idea, of course, of identifying oneself as firmly believing and taking the Faith seriously. But it seems to me that devout injects a note of pious self-puffery. (And don't get me started about the term "staunch Catholic." Does one's reputation as a Catholic really benefit from the added connotation of...