A Tiny Rant

Are there people whose writing you just hate? Not the topic of the writing, but the style. The writing can be technical or not.

Do you ever just want to gouge out your eyeballs while reading? But not until after you have redlined the whole damn thing?

***

DH recently got a new phone; the camera didn’t work as intended and the bug was quite idiotic. DH posed the question: did anybody actually test the goddamn camera on the goddamn phone before mass-producing it?

For some of the people who make me want to kill myself while reading their stuffy and impenetrable prose, I wonder, do they ever go back to read what they wrote? Because I cannot imagine that they would miss how horrible the text was if they actually read through it.

Or maybe they did read it, and they thought it was great, which would make it all even more depressing.

***

I don’t expect people to win the Pulitzer prize. But I expect those whose work requires written communication to not treat it like a nuisance, to reflect on the quality of their writing, to seek feedback, and to want to improve. I hate people who suck at something important and don’t care that they suck at it — in fact, they probably think they are doing great and thus don’t need to improve.

Fuckin’ Dunning-Kruger has apparently become airborne.

3 comments

  1. I recently submitted a proposal with one of these people. They write in the most convoluted style I have ever come across. I think they try to make themselves looks smart because they don’t know what they are doing. There is very little substance in their section of the proposal once you translate their super technical BS. I often wonder what people think of my writing style. I tend to be incredibly plain spoken. The writing is very easy to follow, but that makes me worry people think I’m dumb.

  2. I often wonder what people think of my writing style. I tend to be incredibly plain spoken. The writing is very easy to follow, but that makes me worry people think I’m dumb.

    I can’t imagine anyone would think you are dumb. Clear writing, with a logical exposition of the thought process, is incredibly valuable. Writing that is easy to follow is a joy to read and people notice this joy. I have received comments on the quality of writing in my proposals, both in reviews and verbally from the program directors. I believe people appreciate the kindness that is shown when something is explained really well and with care.

    I recently submitted a proposal with a new collaborator and I will honestly be surprised if it gets funded. It took me forever to figure out what he wanted to say/do (so I’d be able to write the supporting material on my end) and I don’t think the importance or the specifics of what he wanted came across in the proposal as well as they should have.

    But what do I know; I have received lots of compliments on the writing in my proposals, but significantly less money. So maybe this is all bullshit, and all we really apply with are our biosketches (so gender and education pedigree first and foremost).

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