Introduction of the Textbook
In the introduction, the textbook’s author describes his goals of overcoming common perceptions about the significance of academic jargon, which is often used in sociological research. In particular, he points out that many specialists and masters of writing have criticized the standards of the academic genre, pointing out their irrationality and dryness for sociology. It is noted that criticism is healthy in the context of the language used for research, as it is a necessary condition for development. According to the author, criticism should be conducted on general patterns of writing styles, rhetoric, and expressions rather than criticizing a particular author. The author indicates which lines of inquiry he will describe: the conditions under which sociologists work and the linguistic characteristics of sociological writers. This reading is an introduction to the theory of bad writing in sociology and forms an essential thought for the audience about healthy criticism and on what grounds.
The chapter Learning to write badly describes the experience of Bourdieu, P., who found that academic languages are dead because they do not belong to any language group and have no basis for use. The author points out that the problem of encountering academic language leads to questions about the need for language use in general. However, it creates the potential for finding the right solution in writing sociological works. Analyzing Bourdieu’s writings, the author concludes that the universality of dead academic language is the key to good writing. Bourdieu is one of the exemplary followers of a style based on general rules, who believes more in the power of his academic word than in the research data obtained. Nevertheless, the author points out that the use of dead academic language is a consequence of an excessive desire to follow principles. For the reader, this chapter is helpful to form a vision and an opinion about whether to use academic language in their research.
In the chapter Jargon, nouns, and acronyms, the author discusses when the use of academic vocabulary can be applied to other forms of narrative. The author is convinced that the abundance of noun-specific words leads to the problem of jargonizes, which reduces the significance of the study. Considering the case of journalists’ use of jargon without context, he concludes that more rational use of language should be sought. The abundance of nouns reflects the interests of the social world, but it is ineffective if there is no corroboration with other words.
In Verbs as servants, the author suggests that verbs should get the most prevalence and further confirms this with data on the evaluation of nouns in academic writing. The articles become significant due to the volume of jargon and nouns rather than their substance, which shifts the focus away from research. The emergence of acronyms indicates that brevity is an opportunity for sociologists to place their material freely. In conclusion, the author concludes that simple language will prevail in the near future without being filled with any single word forms. The reader should remember that all the words they use in their potential papers should be understood and reflect the essence of the work.
Bad Ideas about Writing
In Bad ideas about writing, the author begins by determining that writing is a private process based on a specific idea, not a general concept. Terms always influence the writing and what the final version will be, so it must be taken into account that the genius of writing is abstract and not attainable. One cannot learn to write in general or about general things; instead, the author suggests being specific and persistent in one’s assertions about a particular topic. Every new situation or act of writing is unlike any other, so the uniqueness of writing is its basic quality. There is no universal formula for writing much, well, and interestingly. After reading the article, the reader should understand that in trying to create a unified piece of writing, one must always have a point of reference.