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June 08, 2007


Fabian Tassano

As Celia Green said, "Lack of clarity is always a sign of dishonesty."

Devil's Kitchen

Of course, I was talking about syntactical problems -- technically poor writing that unintentionally defies understanding -- rather than style (including the deliberate gobblegook spouted by politicians, though I did make brief mention of that).



Seen recently: "50-by-50-cm quadrates". Presumably squares.


In political science, and other subjects which require no skills other than the ability to think, difficult and incomprehensible writing seems to be an attempt to create a niche for one's profession. If people think it's hard, that you have to spend years to be able to grasp the concepts, then you can appear special and important. If they realise that it's common sense and time, then you're out.


Agree with the comment above. Lots of disciplines use abstruse language in order to create a mystique. Worst offenders are educationalists, using as they do a mish-mash of words and expressions taken from psychology, sociology and 'management studies'. Given that managerialists use it a lot to conceal the fact that they either don't know what they're doing, or that what they are doing isn't much good, I'm surprised to see you defending it.


"Seen recently: "50-by-50-cm quadrates". Presumably squares. "

In plant ecology, "quadrats" are frames usually made of cheap half-inch pvc pipe with elbows to make it square. The frame defines a standard unit area of ground surface and vegetative cover cover and is used for statistical analysis of plant communities.


Dillowbert, you are fishing for compliments. You have succeeded. Your writing is perfectly serviceable.


...Moving Britian Forward...

Bad writing or just a typo?



I will take issue with anyone who denigrates your writing, including you yourself.

You have been one of the most interestng stops on my frequent strolls around the blogs.

What I want to know is, these awards that Pol manages to achieve - are they by any chance from left-leaning organisations ?

I write poetry, and have sometimes been shocked that certain poems have been highly praised, but think this is due to the MESSAGE being agreed with, rather than the CRAFT expressing it. Thus lefties would praise her writing !

Alan Douglas


Speaking of bad writing, I think that "George Orwin Prize" is very likely a typo for "George Orwell Prize".

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