Something about words



Sometimes when you think you don’t understand something, it’s because people are using long intellectual words to make you think they are saying more than they are.

This is particularly common in academic writing, and in ideological writing that makes use of academic conventions.

skiesofpluto said:

Sometimes people don’t realize they’re using obscure language and terms because they’re so used to using them, also. When you’re in academia you spend a lot of time associating with other people who also know those field-specific words, and you may use them automatically without remembering that most people don’t understand them.

realsocialskills said:

Yes, sometimes people are just using technical terms and assuming a certain degree of background knowledge. And there are contexts in which there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I’m talking about something different. I’m talking about when people *aren’t* actually doing that, but rather using words in a way that makes it *sound* like they are doing that.

When the words aren’t supporting the argument, but saying “you’re stupid if you don’t understand this,” as a way to avoid actually making the argument rigorously. 

Both are real things.