He seemed intelligent, but frequently mispronounced words the way well-read people who have not grown up around well-read people often do.

— Allison Hoover Bartlett, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession

Not all hermits are autodidacts, but autodidacts, by necessity, know something of hermit life. Knowledge is social. Even the smartest of us rely on the library of information embedded in the surrounding community and technology. For those of us who undertake vision quests upon the printed page, enduring the increasing isolation from our tribe, unfamiliar words become mute sentinels who carefully observe our trespassing without ever responding to our halting, pidgin attempts to speak their language.