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Emancipation from Pernicious Parlance - A Rant on Academic Language


Is 'academic writing' just some weird way to subjugate people without a degree, and people from lower economic backgrounds?


Using fancy language can be great a way to speak more accurately and concisely - but does using 'hegemony' or 'milieu' really help you so much that you'd rather 90% of the population be unable to read it?


It begs the question: Why are we all intentionally writing papers that the majority of the population cannot benefit from? Especially when so much research is publicly funded. If tax payers are funding your research, then they should definitely be able to read the results (and read it in a way that they don't have to google every other word).

But you/me/us are taking this away (from the people that actually paid for this research) by using archaic, needlessly complicated language.

This problem has the built in bonus of making anyone who dares to complain about it, feel stupid.


If a non-degree holding person were to complain about the inaccessibility of the research they fund (and we're just talking about language, not even the pay barrier) they have to admit that they don't understand your ridiculous dick-swinging vocab ('corollary' - really?)

This might make them feel stupid - I know that's how I felt when I started reading academically - and therefore less likely to call you on your bullshit.

I really hope I'm wrong, and I recognise that I do not know a lot about academics yet - but this feels so sleezy and pretentious. It feels like everyone's using fancy language to feel superior, and to feel smarter than "the plebs."


Or maybe teaching people how to speak like an asshole makes students feel more justified in spending £9,250 for 72 seminars and some YouTube Videos. But I really hope not.


Most (all) institutions relfect social hierarchy, I geuss I was naive to hope that education would be above that. It's especially troubling to come to terms with as I (and all students) am now benefitting from being further up in this social hierarchy.


If higher education relies on and perpetrates such shitty segregations of academics and non-academics, then it makes me question whether I really want to be a part of it.