Oct 02 2014

Allan R. Bevere: Are Academics Terrible Writers?

from Steven Pinker, The Chronicle of Higher Education:
Together with wearing earth tones, driving Priuses, and having a foreign policy, the most conspicuous trait of the American professoriate may be the prose style called academese. An editorial cartoon by Tom Toles shows a bearded academic at his desk offering the following explanation of why SAT verbal scores are at an all-time low: “Incomplete implementation of strategized programmatics designated to maximize acquisition of awareness and utilization of communications skills pursuant to standardized review and assessment of languaginal development.” In a similar vein, Bill Watterson has the 6-year-old Calvin titling his homework assignment “The Dynamics of Inter­being and Monological Imperatives in Dick and Jane: A Study in Psychic Transrelational Gender Modes,” and exclaiming to Hobbes, his tiger companion, “Academia, here I come!”

No honest professor can deny that there’s something to the stereotype. When the late Denis Dutton (founder of the Chronicle-owned Arts & Letters Daily) ran an annual Bad Writing Contest to celebrate “the most stylistically lamentable passages found in scholarly books and articles,” he had no shortage of nominations, and he awarded the prizes to some of academe’s leading lights.

But the familiarity of bad academic writing raises a puzzle. Why should a profession that trades in words and dedicates itself to the transmission of knowledge so often turn out prose that is turgid, soggy, wooden, bloated, clumsy, obscure, unpleasant to read, and impossible to understand?
The entire article can be read here.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/are-academics-terrible-writers/

Oct 02 2014

This Day With God: Preparing the Way

We are told in Luke 3:1-20 that John began his preaching in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. His purpose was to bring the message of repentance, prepare the way for the Lord, and share the Good … Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/preparing-the-way/

Oct 02 2014

Seedbed: Threshing Floor Podcast 025: Left Behind (part 1)

For the very first time, The Threshing Floor has a topic so wild it deserves a two part episode! In this first part, our hosts break down their […]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/threshing-floor-podcast-025-left-behind-part-1/

Oct 02 2014

Begin Again: The Limits of Tolerance

I recently wrote a “Skeptics Collection” post in which I severely criticized a certain variety of contemporary Islam for being historically retrogressive, among other reasons, because of its militant religious triumphalism, its melding of political and military power with religious authority, and its hostility to any kind of critical stance toward Islamic history, sacred literature,…

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/the-limits-of-tolerance/

Oct 02 2014

The Heart Of The Matter: Some Things I Do When A Meeting Loses Steam . . .

Over the years, I’ve attended more than a few meetings during which I became . . . disengaged.Usually, but not always, these are denominational affairs.  If it’s not Methodist, then it usually covers something I’m not very adept at or familiar wit…

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/some-things-i-do-when-a-meeting-loses-steam/

Oct 02 2014

Thoughts of a Naked Alien: The Parable of the Good Farm and the Bad Tenant Farmers.

On this week’s episode of Renters from Hell:

(photo by NASA)
God created Earth and planted it with plants. He inhabited it with animals. He watered it, nourished it, and cherished it. The time came for Him to allow it to be cared for by people.

The rain, sun, and soil led to a bumper crop. The people were quite proud of their harvest. They were enjoying the fruits of their labor.

God sent a Prophet to the people, but they killed him. They did all the hard work, why should they share with an absentee landlord? God sent more women and men, but the people killed all of these Prophets too! So finally, He sent His only Child to them.


On next week’s episode:
God comes to Earth and cleans house. He takes the Earth away from them, and gives it to an intelligent alien life-form from outer-space who turn out to be better planet-stewards.


(Alien thoughts on Matthew 21:33-46)


Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/the-parable-of-the-good-farm-and-the-bad-tenant-farmers/

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