Thursday, July 17, 2008


One of my greatest frustrations with research is the politically driven vocabulary. Often, mediocre researchers use their own made-up terms to describe simple concepts; they seem to do this to claim these concepts as their own invention.

Look over there, it's a brown horse!

No no no. What are you talking about? As I published in 2001, that over there is a four-leg sepia callubuster or FLSC. From now on, you really ought to refer to it that way.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a really good piece on how to write with style. He advises to "keep it simple" and "sound like yourself." Moreover,

The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child.

I think this is why my dissertation writing style offends academics. I grew up in blue collar. I use simple words and vulgar metaphors. I won't talk about FLSC's. I just talk about brown horses.


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Sarah Hall said...

Your tips on vocabulary are very useful; many thanks for sharing! As for your writing style, I can't call it "natural", but will fix your pitfalls!