We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The use of words without fixed or clear meanings is a major part of what makes academic writing so terrible. People often complain that academic writing is “obscure” or overly convoluted and complex. But there’s nothing inherently wrong with either complexity or obscurity in themselves; research papers in the sciences have to be complex and technical, and introducing people to obscure and unfamiliar words or concepts can be a key part of developing human knowledge. The problem largely comes when words are vague and unclear, admitting of many possible interpretations. Infamous academic terms like “phenomenological,” “intersubjectivity,” “embeddedness,” “hermeneutical,” and “discursive” are not bad because they describe complicated concepts, but because it’s often not clear just what an author means by them...
Is academic language in the humanities and social sciences designed to obfuscate, is it just packaged cant from people with nothing to say, or is it smoke-signaling?
Calvin: I realize the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity.
I took the GRE 5 years after getting my BS. In the Verbal section, I encountered some reading passages written in what I call "Sociologese"- the obscure academic language this posting discusses. I decided to choose the answers written in the most incoherent prose.
As my Verbal GRE was slightly better than my Verbal SAT, my strategy must have been successful.
You have a similar problem in liberal mainline churches which have developed their own pseudo-theological languages. They spend a lot of words in a sermon saying absolutely nothing. One dialect is commonly referred to as "Episcobabble."
Which all boils down to the all purpose sermon title "What God Meant to Say"
Another guy named Dan
Not in the Diocese of West Texas! Not even our outgoing bishop spoke in Episcobabble. It's true we haven't had a chance to see what the new one is made of, but there's a big difference even between the pastors here and those in Houston, let alone the East Coast leadership or the Anglican hub. Most of these guys may be big ole progressive SJWs, but you can't easily tell it from their preaching. They stick to basic stuff like the duty of charity and leave politics almost completely alone.
They can't spell or use proper grammar either. What happened to Elements of Style by Strunk and White? Started using my copy in high school (1960's) and by the time I finished grad school (1970's) it was well worn.
You're obviously forgetting that insistence on the usage of constructs like orthography and grammar is one of the methods by which the white heteronormative patriarchy privileges its own expression and marginalizes other voices.
Now excuse me while I wash my brain out with beer for having written that.
Another guy named Dan
This is why the centers of indoctrination do not teach students how to study or develop their critical sense.
If a student just applies the first 6 of the factors of studying, they discover that there is no there there in almost all humanities/social science writing:
The student has accomplished much when he has discovered some of the closer relations that a topic bears to life; when he has supplemented the thought of the author; when he has determined the relative importance of different parts and given them a corresponding organization; when he has passed judgement on their soundness and general worth; and when, finally, he has gone through whatever drill is necessary to fix the ideas firmly in his memory. Is he then through with a topic, or is more work to be done?
--How to Study and Teaching How to Study (1909) by F. M. McMurry, Professor of Elementary Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
But if you read this passage, once you punch through you find a content worth knowing. BTW, at Readable.io, this comes out as Grade 99
But no one, I think, has ever called attention to the enormous differences in living, in business, in political temper between the days (which practically lasted until the last century) when a citizen, a merchant, an employer of labor, or a laboring man, still more a corporation or association and lastly, a man even in his most intimate relations, the husband and the father, well knew the law as familiar law, a law with which he had grown up, and to which he had adapted his life, his marriage, the education of his children, his business career and his entrance into public life -- and these days of to-day, when all those doing business under a corporate firm primarily, but also those doing business at all; all owners of property, all employers of labor, all bankers or manufacturers or consumers; all citizens, in their gravest and their least actions, also must look into their newspapers every morning to make sure that the whole law of life has not been changed for them by a statute passed overnight; when not only no lawyer may maintain an office without the most recent day-by-day bulletins on legislation, but may not advise on the simplest proposition of marriage or divorce, of a wife's share in a husband's property, of her freedom of contract, without sending not only to his own State legislature, but for the most recent statute of any other State which may have a bearing on the situation.
--Popular Law-making: A Study of the Origin, History, and Present Tendencies of Law-making by Statute, Frederic J. Stimson (1910)
I'm 56 and learned to write in several different styles. I wrote a lot in college and then learned brevity and compact for the Navy back when navy messages were transmitted long form. Nowadays, in my spare time, I edit submissions by university graduate students for various engineering and chemistry journals. I can still do that. I can't read any of the current nonsense making its way out of the various arts and sciences curriculums or anything published by anybody calling itself a feminist. TL;DR
My first reaction when I read someone's convoluted, confusing writing is that they are hiding something. I suppose they could be trying to impress or incapable of writing clearly but my gut says "oh-oh" what's up here.