Friday, August 31, 2012

Language in the age of indifference.

Lately I have received some criticism about the accessibility of my writing. Not about the content but specifically the language I use and the un-hip format of my admittedly long and drawn-out diatribes. I am fully aware that my writing style does not have mass appeal, nor is it properly watered down for a general audience.

I do not write to win hearts and minds. I am not interested in converting people over to my ways of thinking by spoon feeding them "accessible" drivel conveyed in a 6th grade reading level. This is an outlet for me, a clearing house of the thoughts that rattle around inside my head as I make my meandering path through this world. It is as close to the inner voice of my mind as I can relate it in type.

Furthermore, I have more respect for anyone who would care to read this than to strive for lowest common denominator. Language is somewhat imprecise, and just as a micrometer is more accurate than a vernier caliper which is in turn more precise than a steel ruler, I strive instead for words that more accurately convey my meaning.

For far too long now the collective intellect of the American people has been insulted and diminished in the name of accessibility. When was the last time (honestly) you had to look up a word used in a public broadcast by a news agency or entertainer. It is seemly reminiscent of '1984's' "Newspeak". It is not healthy for the public interest either, as less precision leads to wider interpretation of statements. Think for a second about the manner in which political pundits skew statements made by politicians.

 This is my way of saying, "if you care to read this, I respect your intellect and your researching abilities". I am taking a stand against the collective dumbing down brought about by anti-intellectual ideals. With over 300,000 words in the English language (based on OED entries) it should seem insulting to anyone to have to limit their personal lexicon. Most of all, I want to provoke thought even if only to learn new words.


  1. Thats awesome Marcq, and if you are doing this for pure outlet for yourself only, then it doesnt matter at all what words you choose to write because you are not trying to convey something to others. I would think/guess that others and myself only mentioned writing in a more accessible format becuase we thought you were trying to get your message to others and hopefully change minds and a more accessible format would help with that, because unfortunately you are right, big words are not used in mass media anymore and can tend to alienate readers if they dont understand what you are saying or have to look something up. Unfortunately we now live in the world of acronyms such as TLDR (too long didnt read) and to get messages across to the masses you must speak like a 6th grader or many with respond with TLDR. I love your posts/blogs and always will, beacuse it is straight from your head and sincere, but I was only trying to help in stating its not accessible to some because I thought your goal was to spead the message, not only use it as an outlet for yourself. Thats also why I suggested 2 blogs, one with words enviro/politico techies will understand and one for the masses. But either way I support you and look forward to many thoughts and discussions to come! =)Ryan Smith

  2. Noam Chomsky does the same...but he seems to write for others. it's a pity his language misses most of the population who haven't had proper english education or who border on illiteracy. those folks vote, too...

    i never thought you weren't trying to convert. just preaching to vent :)