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Catchwords of the Literati

Via Oook Blog comes this reference to an article by Stanford Daily columnist Katie Taylor about the 10 most (over)used words in academic circles.

The Top Ten in reverse order of popularity are as follows:

10) Iconoclasm
9) Ubiquitous
8) Paradoxically
7) Subjective/objective
6) Duality
5) Feminist
4) Ironic
3) Dichotomy
2) Race/ethnicity
1) Juxtaposition

Kind of makes you proud, doesn't it?

What I want to know is - where is "paradigm"? What happened to "privileged"? "post-colonial"? or surely "politics"?

Those terms are, I hesitate to say, ubiquitous in the journals I read, and I find it ironic that, in a discussion of the duality between the feminist and post-colonial aspects of race and the subjective and even iconoclastic interpretations of the discourse that paradoxically arises from that juxtaposition and the dichotomy between the relatively privileged language on one side of the binary and what occurs when we deconstruct the other, we ultimately have any readers with the energy or patience to care about language or the study of literature at all.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
OK, I'm droppping 'dichotomy' and 'paradoxically.' Considering my subjects, I can hardly lose 'feminist'...
Jan. 20th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
I think we can let you get away with that one :) I'd have a hard time dropping "subjectivity" given my own area of interest (intertextuality, the sublime and reader response).
Jan. 20th, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
I have tha tproblem, too - but I never use 'objective' so I think I can get away with it.
You do reader response, too? I thought I was alone in the world...
Jan. 20th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
I try. My work on intertextuality kind of circles around reader response theory, and it makes the most sense for teaching, too.
Jan. 20th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
I find it ironic that... we ultimately have any readers with the energy or patience to care about language or the study of literature at all.

I thought the purpose of academic writing (at least in the inhumanities) was to repel the lay reader lest they challenge the value and relevance of what was being written thus upsetting the cozy taxpayer funded, self perpetuating oligarchy.
Jan. 20th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
Heh. yes. There's a wonderful Calvin and Hobbes cartoon on the subject. I'll have to see if I can find it.
Jan. 20th, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
Jan. 20th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
oooh, that's a good one!
Jan. 20th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
:::Runs away, clutching head and screaming::

You've been redaing a certain historian's journal, haven't you?

Gawd that sort of language is depressing.
Jan. 20th, 2007 09:32 pm (UTC)
sadly, it's all too easy to find that kind of language in just about any English literature journal these days.
Jan. 20th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
Well, thank goodness I can still use 'analog'! And 'heuristic' and 'hermaneutic' didn't make it? or 'discourse'?

Jan. 20th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'm surprised "discourse" escaped, or "hermaneutic." To be honest, I've never even been absolutely sure myself what hermaneutic means, and not even all that ashamed to admit it!
Jan. 21st, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
I have to look it up every time I see it!
Jan. 21st, 2007 05:27 am (UTC)
Yes, I was going to ask about paradigm too, and what about holistic? And nuanced?
Jan. 25th, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
Juxtapose drives me nuts. Can't get through a class without hearing it a couple dozen times.

And that reminded me of a word my one prof was using every other sentence one class: conculcating.

I looked it up, and it means to trample underfoot according to this dictionary. I don't think he was asking us what Dickens was trampling under the Victorians. Am I maybe remembering the word wrong? Is there something else that sounds like that? Or is he just getting his word of the day wrong?
Jan. 25th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)
Are you sure it wasn't "inculcating"? I don't think I could use "conculcating" confidently in a sentence :)
Jan. 25th, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC)
Okay, thank you. I knew I must have heard him wrong. Though I think there was another one I didn't catch either. If it comes to me, I'll ask again! :)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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