The M.a

Critics of Oxbridge take unkindly to our M.A. When I had to fill in one of those innumerable time-wasting forms to show how unqualified I was to hold an academic post, I was specifically instructed to describe myself as a B.A., which I was proud to do, since our B.A. is our best degree (everything in Oxford being the opposite of what it seems). But the real equivalent of a mediaeval M.A. is a modern D.Phil, with every academic wanting to call himself Doctor rather than Master, which is felt to offend our egalitarian age; and now we are going back to the mediaeval trivium followed by a post-grad quadrivium, it might seem that we should tidy up our gradations, and have simply a B.A. for the former, and a D.Phil. for the latter.
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