Tuesday, 18 April 2006

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On The Origin of Academic Jargon, Part I As I read Amardeep's contribution to the Spivak MMTOR (to which I will contribute when time and dissertation committee permit) I had one of those moments. You know the ones: You're walking home from class, grousing under your breath about the "progress" you made on your dissertation yesterday, then suddenly something clicks when you think you hear Karen O screaming something which sounds surprisingly like "ZORK!" Tonight's random confluence comes from a click "overhead" as I read Amardeep's post. I had been thinking about how to reply to Belle Lettre and N. Pepperell's comments on something I wrote in an exaggerated fit of annoyance about the idea of "a useable past." The unacknowledged cherry atop my conceptual complaint had been the feather-fluffing prose in which these historical distortions declaimed. I thought I'd write a sarcastic "Note to Self" about new regulations limiting the number of unchecked facts OSHA allows one to balance simultaneously on a soap box. I'd outline the regulations in bureaucratic detail and lull the majority of my audience into a stupor . . . so I ranted instead. As my prosopalgic complaints accumulated my prosodic ones dropped from sight. All conceptual headache and no complaints about rhetoric! What was I thinking? This. Such were the thoughts my mind's eye lazily half-scanned as I read Amardeep's post after a day of relentless dissertating . . . then it clicked. Endless thought about the Origin of Species had organized an opinion on academic jargon with little or no intervention from my preoccupied mind! To Be Continued . . .

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