I know I just did a post on how much I love university (and believe me, I really do) but SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE ABOUT THESE PEOPLE WHOSE PAPERS AND ESSAYS WE ARE FORCED TO READ!
I’m sitting here trying to make sense of a Roland Barthes essay and I keep rereading sentences, desperately trying to piece together his meanings. I’ve had to Google about four definitions already, and I’m only one the first page. So now the question remains: why are we forced to read this crap?
Yes I know, these men (and occasionally, women – don’t get me started on the lacking of female intellectuals in course syllabi) are supposedly masters of their profession. They have made scientific, societal or whatever kinds of breakthroughs, and we, as students of media or science or math or history etc., are supposed to idolize them.
Well, maybe I would if they were able to string together a simple sentence that made sense to the average person who doesn’t have a Ph.D in bullshit.
I understand that through readings these articles, we’re expected to magically be able to comprehend all the majestic concepts the author had, but it’s really hard to do when that author has apparently written their essay in another language. I’m sorry, but the word “agglutinations” sounds more like a vitamin supplement than anything else. So why the fuck don’t you use that in your article, Barthes?
I’m sorry Barthes for picking on you. Every single damn “scholar” I’ve read articles on in university writes like this. They sound, to me anyways, like they’re pulling phrases out of their asses. It’s like they’re just trying to fill space with nonsense on their scholarly paper in order to seem like they know what they’re talking about (which, no doubt, they actually do. I just wish they’d act like it).
When you write something in two paragraphs that I can easily translate into two sentences, that’s probably when you should realize you have a problem. These authors sound pompous and stuck up to me, and it always makes me feel like an illiterate swine when I can’t figure out what the fuck they’re talking about. And what’s worse is the fact I’m doing it too now!
Instead of filling my essays with simple words, I find myself using complex synonyms just to seem smart. I elongate my sentences and twist them around phrases that I’m only half sure are even correct English grammar. I barely understand my own writing sometimes.
WHY IS THIS NECESSARY?
You can have a sentence that says, “In the eclipsed precinct deficient of luminaries, a solitaire taper radiated brilliance”.
Or, you could be like any normal human being and say, “It was dark, except for a candle”.
In other words, you can chose to sound like an ass, or you could write normally.