Re: unusual language

Nick Carbone (nickc@MARLBORO.EDU)
Tue, 8 Oct 1996 11:30:29 -0400

I'm not so much concerned about specialized language as I am about any
language, plainspoken or High Jargon, used poorly. As I recall, the CFP
was for a graduate journal project. Now since I suffer, and my readers
more acutely suffer, from the graduate tendency to over-elaborate, to try
to cover every objection and contingent counter-argument, to use the
language of the field I'm writing in, that is to say, since I write a lot
of bad stuff for a lot of reasons that don't have a wit to do with
vocabulary, I don't see anything nefarious nor deliberately exclusionary,
so much as I see some of my own bad habits and no shortage of irony.
Almost anything academics study--Laboff on Black English, for example--
can get studied in a way that is alien to the people or group being

It might help, if we continue this, to invite the editors who issued the
call onto the list. Not to lecture them or arraign them, but to see what
they think about the whole issue and to give them a chance to describe
what they have in mind for the journal, who its audience is, and why they
prefer an approach grounded in the language of pomo theory (if that's what
it is--I lose track these days).

Nick Carbone, Writing Instructor
Marlboro College
Marlboro, VT 05344