Keepin’ it Real in Academe

There is, I think, a general principle of academic writing. The less consequential an article or books is the more likely the author is to try to conceal this through ornate verbiage. Good ideas, or ideas that are liable to not become obsolete before next Thursday benefit from clear prose and clear, unambiguous presentation. This is quite apart from the question of different styles of writing in different languages.

This is the case with a translation I recently completed. The incredible dense and not very clear verbiage was essentially camouflage for the author not having very much to say.

The writing was not normal academic Polish, which I’m used to. I’m actually very good at taking academic Polish and turning it into academic English. But this text seemed as if it had been tortured to be as difficult to read as possible. But the byzantine syntax and odd word choices were peeled away the content was about what you might expect a moderately talented undergraduate to produce.

There are plenty of other formats where clever writing can be appreciated, but if you’re trying to inform someone regardless of academic level, keep it clear (not quite the same as keep it simple).

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One Response to Keepin’ it Real in Academe

  1. Pingback: More on Academicish Clarityness | The Worked Shoot

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