Re: unusual language

Bob King (
Mon, 7 Oct 1996 13:57:37 -0400

This is an argument/place where the notion of multilingual helps out.
Some scholars, who call themselves "public intellectuals," make it their
business to be able to speak/write in various ways. Cornel West is a good
example -- he can make his points in language that a rotary club lunch
group would understand and appreciate, and then later make the same points
in language that a group of ivy professors would understand and
appreciate. He doesn't see the latter group as better.

There are arguments for example that rap music, mixing/sampling/etc. *is*
postmodernism, but that doesn't make rap music better than high pomo
theory, or better than the language that rotarians use on a daily
basis. It just makes them different languages, and different audiences,
none of which are set in stone.

My own preference is for inclusive language, but it's maybe interesting
that I'm more likely to get irritated with specialized language when it is
just beyond my reach (ie., as some high pomo theory is, as some comp
theory is) than when I am way out of the ballpark (as I am with rap
music), because I'm *supposed* to understand pomo and comp theory. . .