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ERIC Number: EJ923864
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
Simple and Intelligible Language
Blaisdell, Bob
Liberal Education, v96 n2 p56-59 Spr 2010
Some of the students in this author's developmental writing class are, to their own surprise, brilliant storytellers. They simply trust the tale, not the teller. If they tell a ghost story, they do not pretend, for instance, to believe in ghosts or zombies or duppies; they actually do. And so when they write faithfully, the reader sees what they see. Defeated by their language, they go for the best truth they can. Even when their language is, as far as the grammar goes, poor, it is always intelligible. They do not lie. They spin tales, but they are scrupulous about the truth. Still, it is hard not to give in too far to the socializing aspect of higher education. This author is dismayed when, a semester or two later, he discovers that a once plainspoken student's language has become guarded, inflated by rhetoric but sinking with deadweight jargon. Why should the erosion of forthrightness be inevitable with education? The author loves artists and prefers them to himself and other academics because they, with talent and experience, continue struggling toward truths within their chosen medium. The author contends that such brave struggles are possible for academics, too, if they encourage their students and discipline themselves to write in simple and intelligible language.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York