This is really about academics trying to write, and why it often becomes so full of jargon. This first post is going to be a simple list. My plan is to flesh things out with seperate posts at a later stage.

1st reason for difficult language: Trying to sneak yourself to academic status.

2nd reason for difficult language: Not knowing exactly what you’re saying and hiding behind grand words.

3rd reason for difficult language: Being on a learning curve – still searching for the right words and images to convey your thoughts clearly. (The nice version of the 2nd reason…)

4th reason for difficult language: Common sense language is not specific enough.

5th reason for difficult language: Common sense language is too politicized.

6th reason for difficult language: Common sense language is what is being analysed.

Reason number 4 is often the excuse, isn´t it? I think number 3 is the interesting one. It conveys to me that when an idea is better understood, it can be expressed more simply. This also explains why cutting-edge research often is difficult to read: No-one has thought these thoughts before, so we are still on the learning curve of making them easier to think and say.

Which reminds me: Sometimes a text is difficult to understand, even if it is written in plain language – it could be because it is saying something new and different, something requires the mind to change direction for a while and think differently.

Advertisements