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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Academic Jibberish: The Nonliterary Genre

     Writing comes in many forms and styles. The most creative authors write novels. The writers of highly readable narrative nonfiction are close behind. Next comes the writers of nonfiction books followed by a handful of newspaper journalists. Most writing, however, consists of everyday exposition in the form of reports, letters, memos, and even tweets. The worst, most unreadable writing is produced by the academics. Even the best academic writing is pretentious, jargon-laced, and hard to read. At worst, it is simply jibberish.

     The following example of academic jibberish was published in a respected scholarly journal:

"Analysts of global integration have been rightly concerned with elucidating global inequalities. But increasingly interconnectivity has also created possibilities for seemingly marginal people to affect larger patterns of interrelation. By concentrating on how economic power is deployed by dominant global actors, analysts of globalizing processes have largely overlooked the ways in which quotidian acts such as consumer demand across the globe influence economic relations, however asymmetrical these relationships might be."

     It would take a team of WW II codebreakers to figure out what in the hell the writer of the above paragraph is saying. Whatever it is, it could probably be stated in one simple sentence, and would be quite banal.



  1. Powerless people influence the economy through their consumer spending. That’s my take on the above sentence.

  2. Well done. Have you considered a career as a government code breaker? The CIA could use you.