Sunday, June 22, 2008


I've been reading "Great Books," by Denby, and he mentioned "academese," which is a form of communication by academics in a field. In fact, Wiktionary states that it's almost a "dialect." My very favorite example of academese can be found in nursing with Rosmarie Parse's theory of Human Becoming (click "human Becoming" on the left). I worked with Rosmarie, and she is a very nice person. However, her theory always irritated me because of it's language. For example, in that link above, get this: "The first theme, MEANING, is expressed in the first principle of the theory, which states that 'Structuring meaning multidimensionally is cocreating reality through the languaging of valuing and imaging.' This principle means that people coparticipate in creating what is real for them through self-expression in living their values in a chosen way." "Languaging?" "Cocreating reality?" Did you understand what the theory is about? Can't we be more clear? Wouldn't you think that those in academe, with advanced degrees, would prevail at communicating effectively? A certain amount of technical language is to be expected, but Parse, as do others, completely muddles things.


Bob Hale said...

Not just in your field.
Try this gem (from "There Is No Escape From Thirdspace Theory:Bordeland Discourse and the In-between literacies of prison." Anita Wilson)

In this chapter I shape the discussion around my belief that, within incarcerative environments, theoretical aspects of literacy and prison need to be seen beyond the binary concepts of autonomous singularity or social multiplicities.

Care to take a shot at what it means?

Kalleh said...

Oh my. What is it about academics?

Shoshana said...

It isn't academics. It's anyone who is insecure of their authority or the strength of their arguments. Couching a concept in a specific jargon makes you sound like you are part of the "in" crowd. And there are those poor souls who actually believe that if they don't understand this crap it means they are not proficient in their field.

Bob Hale said...