Ask them as have been to school at Tarley:

Category: Education | Type: Discussion | Title: Silas Marner (in Context) | Author: George Eliot | Vol: PART ONE | Ch: CHAPTER VI

As in Lantern Yard, the anti-intellectualism is endemic.

Macy is of course sarcastically self-effacing. He's certain that his audience, also not educated at Tarley, will agree with him that formal education, as opposed to experience, is impractical and useless. To make his point, he chooses an element, pronunciation, which is incidental to a substantive education.  

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