Bad Academic Language

I was enjoying a quiet pint with a friend in our pub of choice, having a quick look over some editing I did for him.  He’s writing a thesis on some shit or other, some sort of academic thing, and I’d been checking the housekeeping: spelling, grammar, punctuation.  You know what I’m like.  It’s not the first time I ever proof-read a thesis, but each one gave me a headache due to the ridiculous, ponderous, turgid language some academics hide behind.

Well? he said.  How did you get on?

Fine, I told him.  I think all the spellings are right, and all the commas are where they should be and I fixed a few small grammatical glitches.  That seems to be that.

So, he said.  What did you think?

Think of what?

The thesis, he said.

Oh.  That.  Right.


Well, to tell you the truth, I couldn’t understand a word of it.


Because it’s full of gobbledygook.

That’s not fair.  I needed to write it like that so that there would be no chance of misunderstanding it.

No chance of it making sense, you mean?

It’s very precise language.

It’s a bad case of science-envy, I told him.  Go up there and order your round, but for God’s sake don’t talk like that to the barman or he’ll pour the pints over your head.

After a brief but grim silence while he seethed at the counter, he came back with two delicious jugs of foaming nectar and slammed them down on the table.

See if you can do any better, he challenged.

All right, I said.  Give me that laptop over here for a minute.  What do you want me to write about?

Let me see.  He tapped his finger against the side of his head for a minute.  Ok.  Write about A world beyond discourse.

Certainly! I chirped and began to type.

If the exteriority of existence is calculable, soon the repetition of the reality of the absolutely unconditioned justification responds to a post-carceral construct, a tokenised route to the superidealism of a Baudrillard, channelling the hubris of heteroglossic introspection while retaining a univocally predicated, almost Kierkegaardian, unconcern for the fetishised reifications of the contested space beyond discourse – beyond the asymoptotic, impossible approach in which the curve and the axis yearn for each other though their desire can never be satisfied.  This is the tragedy of our being and also its triumph.

I could see he was impressed by the way he squinted and leaned closer to the screen.

Hmm, he said.

Such a challenge can be read as the desperate effort to “normalize” formally the disturbance of a discourse of splitting that violates the light itself ex nihilo, by de-predicating the dialectic of obfuscation.

Very interesting, he muttered.

Simply put, the desperation of entelechy is transmuted and mapped onto a tensor-space of almost penumbral Hilbertism, as defined by Dark, McGill and others.

Challenging stuff, he said.

The topology of innerness morphs to a pure cosmology of externality, ultimately leading to the defeat of hermeneutics and the hegemony of hypostasised abstraction.  If Dirac is indistinguishable from classical Deltaism, then we are driven to accept that discourse and understanding are Heisenbergian twins.  This is both the triumph and the tragedy of a movement imbued with its own differential trajectory.

Jesus.  That’s original work.  I never realised you worked in this field.

I’m not finished, I grinned.

Without such deference to nomological emblems, disclosing to ourselves the absentation of actuality from concept, that epistemic fallacy with its ontic dual, a transfigurative rereading of world-lost signifiers, there can be no  space, no discourse and no primordial monovalence to underpin the essential non-essentiality of externality.

Have you published this?

No, I said.

Well, what’s the underlying thesis?

Dunno, I said.  It’s just a load of shit I mixed up at random with a few mathematical terms thrown in to make it sound scientific.

It might be shit, he said, and it might mean nothing at all, but that’s a doctorate right there in front of you.

Maybe I’ll offer a service, I said.  Pint?




Dancing With Professors

The Sheila Variations

The Bad Writing Contest

When Ideas Get Lost in Bad Writing






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