Saturday, October 13, 2007

Quote of the Day

For the last several months I've been reading academic works of sociology to try to get my feet wet before diving into graduate school. To my dismay, I've found that for the most part, the authors I've read violate almost every rule of good writing (such as--use short sentences, don't use a 50 cent word when a 5 cent word will do, show don't tell...) In fact, in many cases, the Wikipedia entry for a particular author does a better job of communicating the ideas than the author's own work.

Apparently, Doris Lessing, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature last week, shares my concern. In an otherwise snarky op-ed republished by the New York Times in honor of her award, she makes the following observation:
"It is one of the paradoxes of our time that ideas capable of transforming our societies, full of insights about how the human animal actually behaves and thinks, are often presented in unreadable language."

No comments: