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Bad writing

dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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9/24/2016 12:06:00 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
Some of the worst prose I have ever seen

- "The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination; thinking about its attributes becomes an adjunct to that, if it is unwilling to betray its object; while the most austere films necessarily draw their energy from the attempt to repress their own excess (rather than from the more thankless effort to discipline the viewer)."

- "The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."
PetersSmith
Posts: 5,805
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9/24/2016 12:07:48 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/24/2016 12:06:00 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Some of the worst prose I have ever seen


- "The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination; thinking about its attributes becomes an adjunct to that, if it is unwilling to betray its object; while the most austere films necessarily draw their energy from the attempt to repress their own excess (rather than from the more thankless effort to discipline the viewer)."


- "The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."

Que?
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ShabShoral
Posts: 3,220
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9/24/2016 12:24:04 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
I took more of a Spinozian route.

Collatum idcirco tibi me in vestra schola

I. I am a human.
II. Your college regularly accepts humans and only humans.

It is established: I meet the most basic requirements for admittance to your institution. (Q.E.D.)

Axiom I. I am a good student.
PROOF. - My transcripts attest to the fact. (Q.E.D.)

Axiom II. I performed well on the very standardized tests you use to admit your students.
PROOF - Evidenced by the score report sent to you on my behalf by the "College Board", who sent said report at my request, and to whom
I paid dearly for this service.

PROP 2. You wish to admit only the best and brightest. That being the case, and assuming that you live up to your stated creed, admitting me
to your institution follows most logically, while the opposite is completely beyond consideration.

PROOF. - My application, and in particular, the glowing recommendations contained therein, verily attest to the fact. (Q.E.D.)

DEFINITIONS

I. Sensible - so as to produce within the mind a feeling that truth, as opposed to falsehood, is to be expressed by the course of action under consideration, should it
be carried out to its full extent, or to a considerable portion thereof.

PROP 3. Your admissions process is fundamentally not sensible.
PROOF. - Much of the application process is based on heresy; applicants tell you how they are special and you are required, by the laws of nature and convenience, to take them
at their word. It is in their best interest to paint themselves in the most beautiful colors available to them whilst still retaining some amount of plausibility, so as to enhance their chances at admission.
You, therefore, should take with great grains of salt the words that come out of their mouths, including mine, so as to lessen the ease with which you fall prey to their lying ways. It follows that much
of the application process is useless, which is indeed, to me at least, not a sensible way to conduct business in any fashion.

CORRALLARY. - You are not fit to continue as admissions officers, given your astonishing levels of gullibility, and should therefore resign at the first opportunity nature provides you. (Q.E.D.)
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dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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9/24/2016 12:52:40 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/24/2016 12:24:04 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
I took more of a Spinozian route.

Collatum idcirco tibi me in vestra schola

I. I am a human.
II. Your college regularly accepts humans and only humans.

It is established: I meet the most basic requirements for admittance to your institution. (Q.E.D.)

Axiom I. I am a good student.
PROOF. - My transcripts attest to the fact. (Q.E.D.)

Axiom II. I performed well on the very standardized tests you use to admit your students.
PROOF - Evidenced by the score report sent to you on my behalf by the "College Board", who sent said report at my request, and to whom
I paid dearly for this service.

PROP 2. You wish to admit only the best and brightest. That being the case, and assuming that you live up to your stated creed, admitting me
to your institution follows most logically, while the opposite is completely beyond consideration.

PROOF. - My application, and in particular, the glowing recommendations contained therein, verily attest to the fact. (Q.E.D.)

DEFINITIONS

I. Sensible - so as to produce within the mind a feeling that truth, as opposed to falsehood, is to be expressed by the course of action under consideration, should it
be carried out to its full extent, or to a considerable portion thereof.

PROP 3. Your admissions process is fundamentally not sensible.
PROOF. - Much of the application process is based on heresy; applicants tell you how they are special and you are required, by the laws of nature and convenience, to take them
at their word. It is in their best interest to paint themselves in the most beautiful colors available to them whilst still retaining some amount of plausibility, so as to enhance their chances at admission.
You, therefore, should take with great grains of salt the words that come out of their mouths, including mine, so as to lessen the ease with which you fall prey to their lying ways. It follows that much
of the application process is useless, which is indeed, to me at least, not a sensible way to conduct business in any fashion.

CORRALLARY. - You are not fit to continue as admissions officers, given your astonishing levels of gullibility, and should therefore resign at the first opportunity nature provides you. (Q.E.D.)

Omg who wrote this they must be really smart lol
FourTrouble
Posts: 12,757
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9/24/2016 8:04:53 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/24/2016 12:06:00 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Some of the worst prose I have ever seen


- "The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination; thinking about its attributes becomes an adjunct to that, if it is unwilling to betray its object; while the most austere films necessarily draw their energy from the attempt to repress their own excess (rather than from the more thankless effort to discipline the viewer)."


- "The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."

Seems fine to me.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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9/24/2016 8:45:16 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/24/2016 8:04:53 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 9/24/2016 12:06:00 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Some of the worst prose I have ever seen


- "The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination; thinking about its attributes becomes an adjunct to that, if it is unwilling to betray its object; while the most austere films necessarily draw their energy from the attempt to repress their own excess (rather than from the more thankless effort to discipline the viewer)."


- "The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."

Seems fine to me.

I hope you're not being serious. Both of these passages won awards for being examples of exceptionally bad writing.
FourTrouble
Posts: 12,757
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9/24/2016 8:50:42 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/24/2016 8:45:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 9/24/2016 8:04:53 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 9/24/2016 12:06:00 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Some of the worst prose I have ever seen


- "The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination; thinking about its attributes becomes an adjunct to that, if it is unwilling to betray its object; while the most austere films necessarily draw their energy from the attempt to repress their own excess (rather than from the more thankless effort to discipline the viewer)."


- "The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."

Seems fine to me.

I hope you're not being serious. Both of these passages won awards for being examples of exceptionally bad writing.

I'm serious. What's bad about this writing?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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9/24/2016 9:09:52 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/24/2016 8:50:42 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 9/24/2016 8:45:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 9/24/2016 8:04:53 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 9/24/2016 12:06:00 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Some of the worst prose I have ever seen


- "The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination; thinking about its attributes becomes an adjunct to that, if it is unwilling to betray its object; while the most austere films necessarily draw their energy from the attempt to repress their own excess (rather than from the more thankless effort to discipline the viewer)."


- "The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."

Seems fine to me

I hope you're not being serious. Both of these passages won awards for being examples of exceptionally bad writing.

I'm serious. What's bad about this writing?

Uhhhh, how about the fact that they have the character of a passage from Being and Time being translated using Google Translate, and then the output of that is put in as input and then translated into other language, and you do that a thousand times? I'm exaggerating, but seriously, I don't know how you could possibly read these passages and think they are "OK". The second passage scores -50 on the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale, which is 80 points lower than what's considered "graduate level". That means it is the same distance from graduate level as graduate level is from kindergarten level.
FourTrouble
Posts: 12,757
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9/24/2016 9:20:15 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
They obviously aren't intended to be readable - doesn't mean it's bad writing. You're evaluating on a metric that's not even relevant to what the writer intended.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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9/24/2016 9:38:03 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/24/2016 9:20:15 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
They obviously aren't intended to be readable - doesn't mean it's bad writing. You're evaluating on a metric that's not even relevant to what the writer intended.

If their intention as to communicate, then I don't think they succeeded. If their ideas really are so complex that they need to be talked about is so pretentious a fashion, then don't compress your writing into so few words. There's simply no point to these passages, because they are virtually incomprehensible to anyone who isn't willing to devote an hour of their life to decoding them bit by bit.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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10/3/2016 9:44:32 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/24/2016 12:06:00 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Some of the worst prose I have ever seen


- "The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination; thinking about its attributes becomes an adjunct to that, if it is unwilling to betray its object; while the most austere films necessarily draw their energy from the attempt to repress their own excess (rather than from the more thankless effort to discipline the viewer)."


- "The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."

That's awful. It sounds like something Martin Heidegger would write.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle