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Posted in May 2017

More thoughts on why people write badly Posted on 11 May 2017 by James Cowan in Bad writing

I have already written about why people write badly, but in that post I based my thoughts on the way the language was learned – essentially, generally, from the family, who may very well not know accurately either the meanings of the words they use, nor how they have changed since those words were learned. And similarly with grammar, punctuation, and so on. But there is another fundamental difference between communicating through speech and using the written ... Read more

More about jargon Posted on 21 May 2017 by James Cowan in Jargon

The more I think about jargon, the more I can see where the problems arise (isn't that always the way?). This time, I was spurred by comments I heard recently on the radio about the incomprehensibility of scientific articles. The issue seemed to be that the speaker, not a scientist, had apparently found an erudite paper they wished to read, based on the title or the abstract, but could not comprehend it. And the fault was therefore the author's. It seemed ... Read more

Hiding the light Posted on 31 May 2017 by James Cowan in Writing

I recently rediscovered Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time. And this time I found it vaguely disappointing. For those who don't know it, a bit of background. King Richard III of England (1483–1485), the last English king to die in battle (Bosworth, 22 August 1485), has long been vilified for a number of actions. This vilification is based not as much on facts as upon the following king's (Henry VII's and the ensuing Tudors') need to justify his rebellion against ... Read more

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