Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Random Notes from a Crank
The other day we were at the store checking out board games. Mrs. Nasty said she liked the board game Life. I never liked that game. It's depressing.
I'm an avid observer of doublespeak, academese, bureaucratese--what Richard Lanham calls "The Official Style." Another type of The Official Style is what I like to call administrative-speak. One word I've noticed quite a bit lately is "operationalize," which is long hand for "implement" or "get something done." So much for clear verbs.
In contrast, this review of Billig's Learn to Write Badly: How to Succeed in the Social Sciences has a slightly different take on excessive nominalizations, prepositional phrases, Latinate terms, and other markers of academese. One could argue that such obtuse and crappy prose is a consequence of code grooming, but I still think it stinks and makes the reader work too hard. I'm for plainer language.