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Academics

Why Academics Stink at Writing by Steven Pinker.

Together with wearing earth tones, driving Priuses, and having a foreign policy, the most conspicuous trait of the American professoriate may be the prose style called academese. An editorial cartoon by Tom Toles shows a bearded academic at his desk offering the following explanation of why SAT verbal scores are at an all-time low: “Incomplete implementation of strategized programmatics designated to maximize acquisition of awareness and utilization of communications skills pursuant to standardized review and assessment of languaginal development.” In a similar vein, Bill Watterson has the 6-year-old Calvin titling his homework assignment “The Dynamics of InterĀ­being and Monological Imperatives in Dick and Jane: A Study in Psychic Transrelational Gender Modes,” and exclaiming to Hobbes, his tiger companion, “Academia, here I come!”

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