early 15c., from Latin eruditus, past participle of erudire “to educate, teach, instruct, polish,” literally “to bring out of the rough,” from ex- “out” & rudis “unskilled, rough, unlearned”
Erudition, for all it’s pretentious overtones, is a state to which I aspire.
As a young person I was described as a “divergent thinker”, a term I long took as an insult until during my PGCE training I encounterd the work of J.P. Guilford who describes divergent thinking as spontaneous, free-flowing, and ‘non-linear’. In this model, many ideas are generated in an emergent cognitive fashion, many possible solutions are explored in a short amount of time, and unexpected connections are drawn. I now wear this label with some internal pride and try - for all the times I fail - to do things with a depth, and breadth of knowledge given of a passion for education and learning. More than simple recollection of facts but a capacity for critical and logical thought coupled to a broad familiarity with general topics and often niche specialisms.