I find that the longer I’m in academia, the less respect I have for some people in academia. Fortunately, I have at least a moderate amount of respect for the people I work with regularly, the folks I see frequently, and my students. My biggest problem is with the people at the helm of some of the professional/academic organizations that send me e-mails. There’s way too much going on in each sentence, and they’re all loaded with shitty jargon and the buzzword(s) du jour. It makes me ill.
Try this nugget on for size:
At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the social, behavioral, and economic sciences face extraordinary opportunities to address next-generation research challenges. The landscape is vast and complex, stretching across temporal and spatial dimensions and multiple levels of analysis — from studying the human brain to implications of decision making in a dynamic and fragmented yet interconnected world.
Translation: Man, we’re all over the place, and our bullshit wells haven’t dried up yet!
Or perhaps this gem:
The insights resulting from this process are threefold: They will inform the substance of future research, the capacities to pursue that research, and the infrastructure to enable investigations that will be increasingly interdisciplinary and international and will involve multiple perspectives and intellectual frameworks, differing scales and contexts, and diverse approaches and methodologies.
Translation: Yeah, we don’t know what we’re doing, either.
It helps if you imagine this as you read it:
I’m just so tired of academic wankery. You are never too smart to edit your writing or to be concise.