A reader writes:
I teach first-year composition at a large Southern university, and finally finished grading the last of my student papers earlier today. It's worth mentioning that when students write the kinds of unnecessarily wordy and borderline nonsensical sentences Jason Peters satirizes, there's a chance they're attempting to write like academics.
Given that many of my students don't do a whole lot of reading, it makes sense that, when faced with the prose of academia, they see it as, well, unnecessarily wordy and borderline nonsensical. In an effort to adapt to their new academic surroundings, they inflate their prose. But when their writing skills are already limited, their attempts at imitation turn into the sort of tragicomedy Peters so perfectly nails.
Everything an undergrad (or anyone else) needs to know about writing in seven words, from Mark Twain’s newly published autobiography: “Plain clarity is better than ornate obscurity.”
That is certainly the way of the blog.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.