JS Tip 274: Your Response to the Gobbledygook

Tips from Jefferson Smith Training and Consulting

** From the Writing Workshops: Your Response

The Example

Last week, we presented this example: Bruffee’s basic positioning of collaboration as a natural extension of social turn epistemology has largely remained unquestioned, which is to say the conceptualization of collaboration as an enactment of conversation remains the primary metaphor for understanding what collaboration is and does, especially as it applies to the teaching of writing.

The Questions

We asked if there was ever an occasion when you’d write at such a level? When anyone would write at such a level?

Your Response

You responded beautifully. Here are a few of your comments. We’re sorry we couldn’t include them all:

Roselia Villalobos answered— Is there ever a time when you’d write something with so many big words? No. Never. By using big words you make your argument boring and not worth my time.

Jacob Hortin wrote—

If I received this, I wouldn’t read it.

Joe Collett called it— Terminal pretentiousness!

Alix Bax allowed some possibilities—

There are indeed audiences for whom this type of writing is appropriate. The writer’s peers, for one (assuming he’s a professor at a university). Lawyers, psychiatrists, physicians, and economists have their own styles of communication. And as long as they’re communicating within that arena, that style would be appropriate. But when you get outside that arena—to folks like me—well, simplicity rules.

Our suggestion? Impress with your ideas. Communicate with your words. What are your questions? Let us know. We love this stuff.

Happy Independence Day. Taste the freedoms. Get involved. Speak up at city-council meeting. Write a letter to the editor. Support a candidate. This land is your land.

** Recent Tips

JS Tip 273: Examining Real-world Gobbledygook
JS Tip 272: The Rare Appropriate Passive Voice
JS Tip 271: Recognizing Passive Voice
JS Tip 270: The Power of an Apology
JS Tip 269: Remembering What's Important


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